The presence of Hurricane Florence has resulted in a bevy of ACC games being canceled, including the East Carolina Pirate’s visit to Blacksburg. Without the Hokies to watch here are five games that could fill that void!
When: 330 PM ET
This is the only match on the list that features a team that the Virginia Tech Hokies will have to face during the regular season. Duke has started the year with a splash, avenging last year’s loss to Army and following that performance with an away victory over Northwestern. Unfortunately, with the injuries to starting QB, Daniel Jones, and pre-season All-American CB, Mark Gilbert, the Blue Devils will have offensive and defensive challenges to overcome. Duke backup QB, Quentin Harris, a dual threat, steps up under center and will seek to improve Duke’s season to 3-0. Baylor also enters the game undefeated, though they faced lesser competition than Duke in the Abilene Christian Wildcats and UTSA Roadrunners. The Bears passing offense, which hung 403 yards on the Roadrunners, could present a threat to the Blue Devil secondary missing a key component in Gilbert. If Duke can escape Waco only the North Carolina Central Eagles stand between them and a 4-0 start before hosting the Hokies.
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) @ No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs (2-0)
When: 800 PM ET
One of the week’s three meetings between Top 25 teams, this game represents the most challenging match up either of the squads have faced thus far. Last year the Buckeyes suffered an early season setback against the Big 12 when the Oklahoma Sooners defeated OSU, 31-16. Last year TCU fell three then Top 25 teams, including the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, 39-37, during the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Buckeyes will certainly be looking to show the CFB Playoff committee that the B1G belongs in the playoffs after the conference missed it last year while Gary Patterson and TCU would love to show that they are a team to reckon with on the national level.
When: 700 PM ET
If there is any team that has consistently given Bama fits, during the regular season, it is Ole Miss. Though the Tide dominated the Rebels, 66-3, last season, they barely escaped in 2016 and lost to Ole Miss in both 2015 and 2014. The Rebels boast a dangerous offense that features A.J. Brown, arguably the best WR in the NCAA. Throughout its first two games the Rebels have averaged 596 yards per game and 407.5 passing yards per game. Ole Miss is serving its last season of a two-year bowl ban but will certainly bring their best to the field regardless. Alabama’s defense is undeniably talented, but it is inexperienced. This game will do much to reveal what we can expect from the defending national champions.
When: 330 PM ET
The battle of the SEC Tigers became much more interesting after LSU opened the season by defeating the then No. 8 Miami-Florida Hurricanes, 33-17. Auburn also has a quality win after they upended the pride of the Pac 10, beating the Washington Huskies, 21-16. The fight in the SEC West continues to be a battle to determine who could possibly unseat the Crimson Tide. Whichever team survives this game will still have to face the No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs but will become the clear frontrunner to challenge Alabama for domination in the West.
When: 1200 NOON ET
QB Eric Dungey and the Orange may have finally put together an offense that can carry the team to their first bowl appearance since 2013. Throughout the first two games Dungey has shown the versatility required to lead the team to victory, passing for a total of 402 yards with a 7-1 TD-INT ratio and rushing for 244 yards and a TD. The Syracuse defense features a talented freshmen DB, Andre Cisco, who is currently tied for leading the nation in interceptions with three. FSU seems to be in something of a shambles after being soundly beaten by the Hokies and barely escaping Samford. If Syracuse can hold Seminole’s RB Cam Akers to a mortal performance the magic of the Carrier Dome and the rising ability of the Orange could result in furthering the woes of the Willie Taggart era.