Here are some things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 4:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Pittsburgh at North Carolina. These teams finished 1-2 in the Coastal Division last year, with UNC (2-1) winning 26-19 at Pitt (2-1) en route to an 8-0 ACC record. This matchup is in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heels have won eight straight for their longest home run since 1997. The big matchup will be the Panthers’ strong rushing attack against a shaky defense. “This will probably be the best team we’ve played to this point, so we’ll have our work cut out for us,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said.
BEST MATCHUP: East Carolina’s passing game vs. Virginia Tech’s pass defense. The Hokies have a new head coach in Justin Fuente, but the defense has a familiar look under longtime coordinator Bud Foster. Virginia Tech (2-1) owns the nation’s No. 1 passing defense and No. 2 total defense (204.7 yards). The Pirates (2-1) have the nation’s No. 7 passing offense behind quarterback Philip Nelson and receiver Zay Jones, who had a program-record 22 catches for 190 yards last week at South Carolina. And don’t forget: ECU has won six straight against ACC teams since 2013, including the past two in this series. “I can assure that East Carolina has a full respect of all our players,” Fuente said.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The offensive struggles continue for Boston College entering the Wagner game. Last weekend’s 49-0 loss to Virginia Tech marked the third shutout ACC loss since the start of 2015. The Eagles are 126th out of 128 teams in the Bowl Subdivision in total offense (262.7 yards) and tied for 124th in scoring (13.3 points). And with 788 yards, BC is the only ACC team yet to crack 1,000 yards through three games.
LONG SHOT: Wake Forest (3-0) heads to Indiana (2-0) as about a touchdown underdog. But the Demon Deacons are ranked sixth nationally in total defense (247.7 yards) and 13th in scoring defense (12.7). That could be enough against the Hoosiers, assuming QB John Wolford — now starting with Kendall Hinton out with a knee injury — can put at least some points on the board.
IMPACT PLAYER: Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has been the league’s biggest story entering Saturday’s game at Marshall. The sophomore quarterback is second in FBS in rushing yards (154.7) and eighth nationally in passing efficiency. Behind Jackson, Louisville (3-0, 2-0 ACC) has pushed its way into the College Football Playoff chase with a No. 3 national ranking.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Aaron Beard in Raleigh, North Carolina.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org