Things to watch in the ACC in Week 3:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 2 Florida State at No. 10 Louisville, in the first of three marquee matchups in the most top-heavy division in college football — the Atlantic Division also has No. 5 Clemson, which plays both schools. It’s the 12th top-10 matchup in ACC history and the first since Miami-Florida State in 2013. The Seminoles — who have outscored their opponents 84-12 during their last six quarters — will have to stop QB Lamar Jackson, who leads the conference in six individual stat categories and in two blowouts has thrown for six touchdowns and rushed for six more. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher cautions that “you can’t get enamored with Lamar and let those (other) guys” beat you.
BEST MATCHUP: Pittsburgh rushing offense vs. Oklahoma State rushing defense. RB James Conner has rushed for an average of 84 yards with two touchdowns during his inspirational return from cancer. He’ll try to add to that total against the Cowboys, who rank 11th nationally against the run and are still fuming from a questionable last-second loss to Central Michigan that cost them a spot in the AP Top 25.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Seven quarterbacks have made their starting debuts for their schools already this season, a total that includes transfers at Virginia (Kurt Benkert), Boston College (Patrick Towles) and N.C. State (Ryan Finley). Through two games, all seven rank in the top 10 in the conference in passing, with Florida State freshman Deondre Francois leading the way with an average of 340.5 yards.
LONG SHOT: No. 25 Miami could be walking into trouble when they visit Boone, North Carolina, to face an Appalachian State program in its third year in the Bowl Subdivision. It’s by far the biggest game at the FBS level for the Mountaineers, who took No. 15 Tennessee to overtime two weeks ago. And of course nobody has forgotten Appalachian State’s upset of Michigan in 2007 during its run of three straight FCS titles.
IMPACT PLAYER: DL Duke Ejiofor has been a disruptive force up front during Wake Forest’s surprising 2-0 start. He’s forced two fumbles, including one that swung the momentum in a 24-14 win over Duke, and ranks second in the ACC with 3½ sacks. The Demon Deacons figure to turn him loose this week against Delaware of the FCS.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org