ACC Football News and Notes: ACC has best non-conference record in eight years
The ACC is 28-6 vs. non-conference competition through the first three weeks of the season, including an 17-6 mark vs. FBS competition.
The league’s 28-6 record vs. non-conference opponents is the best since going 27-5 in the first three weeks of 2014 and is second among all conferences this season.
Eight non-conference games, including three vs. Power 5 opponents, are on the schedule this week.
Seven ACC teams are unbeaten heading into Week 4, which equals the most of any conference. Five teams from the Atlantic have yet to lose. All four ACC teams in the state of North Carolina are undefeated through week three for the first time ever – Duke (3-0), North Carolina (3-0), NC State (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-0). Clemson is 3-0 for the seventh time in the last eight years. Syracuse is 3-0 for the first time since winning 10 games in 2018, and Florida State is 3-0 for the first time since 2015.
Week 4 schedule breakdown
Games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with prime-time matchups each day. No other conference plays each of those three days this week.
Three conference games – Virginia at Syracuse on Friday (7 p.m./ESPN); Clemson at Wake Forest (Noon/ABC) and Boston College at Florida State (8 p.m./ACCN) on Saturday.
Three non-conference matchups against Power 5 opponents – West Virginia at Virginia Tech on Thursday (7:30 p.m./ESPN), Duke at Kansas (Noon/FS1) and Notre Dame at North Carolina (3:30 p.m./ABC) on Saturday.
Four non-conference games against the Group of 5 conferences and one game against FCS competition.
Virginia Tech, which leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in total defense, hosts West Virginia on Thursday evening (7:30 p.m./ESPN). The programs have squared off 53 times since 1912, but this year’s game will mark the first time the teams have met in back-to-back seasons since they met every year from 1973 through 2005.
Syracuse, which is seeking its first 2-0 start in ACC play since joining the conference in 2013, hosts Virginia on Friday (7 p.m./ESPN). It is the first meeting between the two schools since 2015, when the Cavaliers outlasted the Orange for a 44-38 win in three overtimes in Charlottesville. Syracuse is currently second in the league in turnover margin.
A pair of nationally-ranked ACC Atlantic Division teams are set to collide Saturday as No. 5 Clemson heads to Winston-Salem to face 21st-ranked Wake Forest (Noon/ABC). The Tigers have the nation’s longest active win streak at nine games, while Wake Forest has won 11 straight at home. This is just the third time overall – and first time as ACC opponents – that both teams have been ranked at kickoff. The two previous occurrences came in 1948 (No. 10 Clemson 21, No. 19 Wake Forest 14) and 1950 (No. 16 Clemson 13, No. 17 Wake Forest 12).
Undefeated Duke looks to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2018 when it travels to Kansas on Saturday (Noon/FS1). The Jayhawks are also 3-0. This is the fourth game in a series in which the home team is currently 3-0. Duke QB Riley Leonard is fourth in the ACC, averaging 290.0 total yards of offense.
North Carolina looks to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1997 when the Tar Heels take on Notre Dame at Kenan Stadium Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m./ABC). North Carolina and Notre Dame meet for the 23rd time and for the third consecutive year for the first time since 1958-60.
In the ACC Network prime time game on Saturday evening, Boston College travels to Florida State (8 p.m./ACCN). Florida State has won 10 of the last 11 meetings in this Atlantic Division matchup, including a 26-23 victory at Chestnut Hill late last season.
In other FBS non-conference action, Louisville hosts South Florida (Noon/RSN), No. 25 Miami hosts Middle Tennessee (3:30 p.m./ACCN), No. 12 NC State hosts UConn (7:30 p.m./RSN), Georgia Tech plays at UCF (4 p.m./ESPNU) and No. 24 Pitt hosts FCS opponent Rhode Island (Noon/ACCN).
Clemson’s current nine-game win streak is the longest active streak in the country. Clemson also has the nation’s longest home win streak at 36 games. NC State has the seventh longest active home streak at 12 games and Wake Forest is ninth with 11.
Pitt has won seven consecutive road games, which is the second-longest in the country behind Georgia (8).
ACC in the Top 25
Five ACC teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 poll (Sept. 11). The five teams are the second-most of any conference. No. 5 Clemson leads the way and is joined by No. 12 NC State, No. 21 Wake Forest, No. 24 Pitt and No. 25 Miami. Florida State, North Carolina and Syracuse also received votes.
No. 5 Clemson leads a group of four ACC teams ranked among the top 25 of the USA TODAY Sports AFCA coaches poll. The Tigers are joined by No. 11 NC State, No. 16 Wake Forest and No. 25 Miami. Pitt, Florida State, Syracuse, North Carolina and Duke also received votes.