Louisville-Clemson headlines ACC’s Week 5
By The Associated Press
Here are some things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 5:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 3 Louisville at No. 5 Clemson. For the second time in three weeks, a pair of top-10 Atlantic Division teams who have legitimate national championship hopes face each other. This one matches the league’s top two Heisman Trophy contenders in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. The Cardinals, who routed Florida State two weeks ago, can gain some separation in the division race with what would be the biggest road win in school history. “This is what we tell our players they come (to Louisville) for,” coach Bobby Petrino said, “to play in games like this.”
BEST MATCHUP: Wake Forest’s defense vs. North Carolina State’s offense. No ACC team completes a higher percentage of its passes than the Wolfpack. Behind Boise State transfer Ryan Finley, N.C. State connects on nearly 76 percent of its throws. “I don’t care how many screens you’re throwing, 76 percent is impressive,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. Up next is a test from a Demon Deacons defense that has been the strength of the team in recent years, allows just 16.5 points per game and is coming off a five-interception performance in a win at Indiana.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Louisville’s offense has been historically productive through four weeks. The Cardinals are only the fourth FBS team since 1920 to score at least 59 points in four straight games. Baylor’s 2013 team is the only other one to score that many in the first four games of a season.
LONG SHOT: Maybe Syracuse will become the next ACC team to spring an upset on Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 38-35 loss to a Duke team as 20-point favorites, and now take on the Orange — 10-point underdogs — at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. Syracuse QB Eric Dungey averages an ACC-best 341.6 yards passing — bad news for a Notre Dame team that fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder the day after the Duke loss.
IMPACT PLAYER: North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky will look to keep rolling in a visit to No. 12 Florida State. Trubisky threw for career bests of 453 yards and five touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory over Pittsburgh, completed an ACC-record 30 consecutive passes over a two-week span and now will look to light up a Seminoles defense that has yet to hold an FBS opponent to fewer than 34 points.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.