• UNC is reeling but this is actually a great spot on Notre Dame’s schedule. The Irish survived a slug fest with Stanford last week (a 17-14 ND win) and play No. 1 Florida State next week.
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UNC is better when it runs the football. Quarterback Marquise Williams led the team’s turnaround last season when he was running the read option. Williams had 94 yards on 19 carries against Virginia Tech and the offense as a whole showed some promise, particularly in the second half, when Williams was running.
• N.C. State struggled with Georgia Southern’s option in the opener and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson had success running the ball out of the pistol formation against the Wolfpack.
Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy has only attempted 101 passes in five games – 28 came in an early home loss to Pitt – but has rushed for 579 yards.
If N.C. State can score early, like the FSU game, and force Boston College to throw, the Wolfpack will win Dave Doeren’s first ACC game.
• If Duke is ever going to beat Georgia Tech again, it’s probably this week. The Blue Devils had an extra week off to prepare and their defense has been strong thus far this season, even without linebacker Kelby Brown.
Georgia Tech’s 5-0 start is a bit of a mirage, but the Jackets have won because they haven’t turned the ball over (just four giveaways in five games).
The Blue Devils, 0-6 against Georgia Tech under David Cutcliffe, need to get receiver Jamison Crowder going. They have missed tight end Braxton Deaver taking coverage pressure off of Crowder, who has 29 catches in five games, after finishing last season with 108 in 14 games.
Three to watch
UNC at No. 6 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC)
The Fighting Irish (5-0) struggled with Purdue and Syracuse, so the Tar Heels (2-3) do have a chance to break their three-game losing streak.
Boston College at N.C. State, 3:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas)
The Wolfpack (4-2) needs to recover from a disaster of a loss at Clemson, while Boston College (3-2) is coming off a home loss to Colorado State.
Louisville at Clemson, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Tigers (3-2) are hitting their stride and have been virtually unbeatable at home in ACC play. The Cards (5-1) are hoping the return of receiver DeVante Parker will make an impact.
Number to know
1 Louisville's national rank in total defense. The Cards have allowed 231 yards per game. Their 3.77 yards allowed per play ranks second in the country.