CLEMSON AT SYRACUSE
7:30 p.m. Saturday, WSET
This game was expected to be a stern test for No. 1 Clemson (2-0, 1-0), but that was before Syracuse (1-1, 0-0) was hammered 63-20 at Maryland last week.
“It’s kind of like being knocked out and waking back up. And we’re going to see how we do,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “Maybe we reboot and maybe everything is okay.”
The Tigers are averaging 38.0 points.
“They’re so good on offense now that you have a limited time in the game to get them and if you don’t keep pace with that offense the game is over,” Babers said. “It’s Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson — if you don’t hit them with the uppercut, you’re going to get knocked out.”
Babers hopes his defense can pressure QB Trevor Lawrence.
“We had no pass rush [last week], so we have to get a pass rush,” Babers said. “I don’t know how we’re going to do that yet because they are really good at protecting him.”
Clemson lost at Syracuse two years ago and rallied to beat the Orange 27-23 last year.
NORTH CAROLINA AT WAKE FOREST
6 p.m. Friday, ESPN
UNC (2-0) and Wake (2-0) will meet in a nonconference game.
“We need a lot of fans to go to Wake Forest this Friday,” Tar Heels coach Mack Brown said. “I know it’s tough on a Friday night because we hate competing with high school football. … But we also feel like any fans who can get there will really, really help us.
“When we were here [in Brown’s first UNC stint], … we always had great fan support, especially when there were some tickets at Wake or Duke.”
True freshman Sam Howell has thrown for 519 yards for the Tar Heels.
“Howell is in no way, shape or form playing like a true freshman,” Wake coach Dave Clawson said. “He has shown a lot of poise.”
N.C. STATE AT WVU
Noon Saturday, Fox Sports 1
West Virginia (1-1) is coming off a 38-7 loss at Missouri.
“I have known since probably our first winter workout that we had some deficiencies in our football roster,” WVU first-year coach Neal Brown said. “We struggled on Saturday; we got exposed at certain positions.”
Brown is mulling changes to his offensive line. The Mountaineers averaged just 0.9 yards per carry last week, and rank next-to-last in the FBS in rushing offense (32 ypg).
State (2-0) will be facing WVU for the first time since the 2010 Champ Sports Bowl.
PITTSBURGH AT PENN STATE
Noon Saturday, WSET
This is the 100th meeting between Pitt (1-1) and No. 13 Penn State (2-0). This will be the fourth straight year the teams have met, but it is the last scheduled meeting in the series.
Sean Clifford has thrown for 559 yards for the Nittany Lions.
“Clifford is a baller,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “He’s got a nice arm, throwing the ball all over the place.”
KANSAS AT BOSTON COLLEGE
7:30 p.m. Friday, ACC Network
Kansas (1-1), which is now steered by ex-LSU coach Les Miles, suffered a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina last weekend. It was the first time Coastal ever beat a Power Five team.
BC (2-0) has never played Kansas before.
LOUISVILLE VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
4 p.m. Saturday, Stadium (WSET Digital 13.2)
The Cardinals (1-1) and Hilltoppers (1-1) will square off at the Tennessee Titans’ stadium.
Conference USA member Western Kentucky opened the season with a loss to FCS member Central Arkansas.
DUKE AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE
7 p.m. Saturday, Facebook Live
The Blue Devils (1-1) will meet Conference USA member Middle Tennessee (1-1) for the first time.
“We have to continue to see freshmen grow,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “We are going to need those guys because we have so many people out. We need playmakers on offense.”
BETHUNE-COOKMAN AT MIAMI
4 p.m. Saturday, ACC Network
For its home opener, Miami (0-2) welcomes FCS member Bethune-Cookman (1-0).
The Hurricanes are coming off a loss to UNC.
“It is possible to be angry and optimistic at the same time,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. “We’re certainly angry, again, at the result and the things that we did that led to the result. But from what we see in our performance, there are a lot of reasons to still be optimistic — not just optimistic in terms of what’s available for us this season, but also optimistic for … where this program is going beyond [this year].”
THE CITADEL AT GEORGIA TECH
12:30 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Washington
The Yellow Jackets (1-1) face the Bulldogs (0-2) of the Southern Conference for the first time in 18 years.
VMI AT EAST TENN. STATE
7:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN Plus (streaming)
This is the SoCon opener for both the Keydets (1-1) and 2018 FCS playoff participant ETSU (1-1).
This game will provide a better read on these squads than their first two games did. Each team has lost to an FBS foe and has beaten a Division II school this year.
“We’re really going to find out a lot about ourselves in this week’s matchup,” VMI coach Scott Wachenheim said.
Wachenheim is worried about the ETSU secondary.
“Our wide receivers have got to win versus man coverage. East Tennessee State does a great job of playing man coverage,” Wachenheim said.
VMI has lost 22 straight SoCon games since beating ETSU in 2016.
ETSU RB Quay Holmes made the preseason All-SoCon first team. ETSU defensive lineman Nasir Player was the league’s preseason defensive player of the year.
MORGAN STATE AT JMU
4 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Washington
JMU (1-1), ranked No. 2 in the FCS polls, has not played Morgan State (0-1) since 1995.
ELON AT RICHMOND
6 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Wash. Plus
This is the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both Elon (1-1), which is ranked No. 25 in the STATS FCS poll, and Richmond (1-1).
COLGATE AT WILLIAM AND MARY
6 p.m. Saturday, Cox Ch. 9
Defending Patriot League champ Colgate knocked off JMU in the second round of the FCS playoffs last year but is off to an 0-2 start this year.
The Tribe (1-1) lost to Colgate 23-0 last season.
SEWANEE AT W&L
1 p.m. Saturday
The Generals opened with a 26-14 loss to Dickinson.
“Lost the turnover battle and didn’t have enough explosive plays,” W&L coach Garrett LeRose said. “Those are things that we need to focus on this week.”
The Generals have won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Sewanee (0-1), including a 47-14 victory last year.
“We established our inside run game last year [against Sewanee], and that’s something that we weren’t able to do in Week 1,” LeRose said. “We’ve got to be able to do that.”
W&L QB Drew Richardson and backup Jack Pollard were a combined 15-of-27 through the air last weekend — the most completions and attempts for the Generals since a 2011 game.
“We were down late in the game,” LeRose said of the passing. “That was just game flow and circumstance.”
FERRUM AT GREENSBORO
1 p.m. Saturday
Greensboro (0-1) has dropped nine straight games, including a loss to Apprentice last weekend. The skid began with an 81-0 loss at Ferrum last year.
This is the opener for Ferrum.