Georgia Tech (2-0) at Duke (2-0)
PREGAME CHATTER: Duke is 2-0 for the first time since 1998, but 3-0 will be tougher to come by. Duke has beaten Georgia Tech only twice since 1990, and the Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets have played every year since then. Duke has lost nine in a row in the series and has allowed 30 or more points in seven of those games. The Yellow Jackets’ option attack has bothered Duke to say the least.
WHAT IT MEANS: Stealing a game will be important for Duke, which believes it is a contender in the ACC Coastal Division. Duke has four straight home games, and with Pittsburgh coming to Wallace Wade Stadium next week, the Blue Devils have to make the homestand count. A 2-0 ACC start is attainable, but Duke has to take care of Georgia Tech first.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Quarterback Brandon Connette. Duke’s backup quarterback primarily has been a short-yardage option thus far in his college career, but he’ll be called into full action with starter Anthony Boone out with a broken collarbone. Connettee played very well in relief of Boone against Memphis, but the Yellow Jackets are a better team and this is a bigger game.
ODDS: Georgia Tech by 10.
TIME: 3:30 p.m.
TV/RADIO: ESPNU/WTIB 103.7-FM
Virginia Tech (1-1) at East Carolina (2-0)
PREGAME CHATTER: There was a time not so long ago that a visit from Virginia Tech envoked intimidation in the home team. That isn’t necessarily the case any more, and a confident East Carolina squad seemingly has what it takes to knock off Virginia Tech today in Greenville. If the game is going to come down to quarterback play, East Carolina has the advantage with Shane Carden’s early-season success (638 yards, seven touchdowns) and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas' failure to maintain any consistency.
WHAT IT MEANS: In a schedule of somewhat underwhelming Conference USA opponents, this afternoon’s game – against an ACC squad in Greenville, nonetheless – will be treated as a benchmark for the kind of team East Carolina hopes to be by the end of the season.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Pirates wide receiver Justin Hardy. Hardy will be a marked man by the Hokies’ defense, but will that fact still be enough to stop him?
ODDS: Virginia Tech by 7.
TV/RADIO: FS1/WNCT 107.9-FM
Southern Virginia (0-1) at N.C. Wesleyan (0-1)
PREGAME CHATTER: N.C. Wesleyan returns to the Rocky Mount Sports Complex for the first time since 2007 in its home opener. Nothing serves as a welcome back gift quite like a victory, which also would be the first in coach Jeff Filkovski’s tenure at N.C. Wesleyan. The Bishops lost by 10 when the two teams met last season, but Southern Virginia dropped its opener to USA South member Methodist.
WHAT IT MEANS: A chance to finish four quarters. N.C. Wesleyan played an excellent defensive three quarters to start the game but couldn’t finish its opener against Stevenson. The Bishops led, 9-3, late in the third quarter, but allowed 16 points in the final 16 minutes and cost themselves with more than 100 penalty yards. With another game against a comparable team, a solid fourth quarter is a must.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: N.C. Wesleyan running back Jaques Alston. Even on teams with little offensive punch the past two years, Alston stood out. He’s already back at it, amassing nearly 200 yards of total offense through one game, more than two-thirds of the Bishops’ total as a team. If the opener is any sort of indication for the rest of the season, N.C. Wesleyan’s ability to score points will come down to Alston.
TIME: 1 p.m.