ACC Week One Preview
Pittsburgh is welcomed to the ACC with its first-ever conference game, a Monday night showdown against 2012 ACC champion Florida State. The No. 12 Seminoles defense which led the league in sacks a year ago, while they figure out their offensive identity following the departure of first-round draft pick QB EJ Manuel.
It’s a top-ten showdown under the lights as No. 8 Clemson opens the season at home against No. 5 Georgia. Veteran quarterbacks Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray will garner the attention and look to make a Heisman-worthy statement in week one. Clemson is 10-3 in season openers since 2000, but those three losses have all come at the hands of SEC teams, including two losses to Georgia.
North Carolina travels to No. 7 South Carolina on Thursday night for one of the first games of the college football season. The Tar Heels boasted the ACC Coastal Division’s best record in 2012, but could not play in the conference championship due to a postseason ban.
Last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl champion, Virginia Tech, heads to Atlanta to face off against top-ranked Alabama. The two teams faced off to start the 2009 season with Alabama winning 34-24. The Crimson Tide mark the only preseason ranked team the Hokies will face this season.
Syracuse and Penn State open the season with a neutral site game at MetLife Stadium. Syracuse will be replacing record-setting QB Ryan Nassib, while Penn State has to decide between junior college transfer, Tyler Ferguson, and freshman, Christian Hackenberg.
Head Coach Mike London looks to improve to 6-0 in season openers as Virginia hosts Brigham Young for the first time since 2000. The Cavaliers will start sophomore QB David Watford who will take his first snaps since the 2011 season.
Maryland looks to rebound from an injury-riddled 2012 campaign that saw them lose their final six ACC games. The Terps host Florida International in their first season as members of the C-USA.
Miami looks to kick off the 2013 season with a home victory against in-state opponent Florida Atlantic. Miami will rely on more of the same from talented sophomore running back Duke Johnson who had a memorable first season, gaining 2,060 all-purpose yards and earning Freshman All-America honors.
Two teams with new head coaches face off against each other in week one with Dave Doeren joining North Carolina State after a successful stint at Northern Illinois, while Louisiana Tech welcomes Skip Holtz to their sidelines. Louisiana Tech scored a national-best 51.5 points per game in 2012, while NC State ranked 71st with 28.1 points per game. The Wolfpack host the Bulldogs in the first of four consecutive home games to start the season.
Boston College opens its first season under head coach Steve Addazio against Villanova.
Duke looks to make their second-consecutive bowl game in 2013, hosting MEAC opponent NC Central in the opener.
Georgia Tech welcomes Elon to Atlanta.
Wake Forest hosts Presbyterian from the Big South Conference on Thursday night to open the 2013 campaign.