ACC Game(s) of the Week: Week 1

By Ryan McCart

It’s game week ladies and gentlemen.

It has been a long and eventful offseason, but we are only a few weeks away from the kickoff of the college football season. The ACC will be in the national spotlight in Week 1 with three nationally televised night games on three separate nights: Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Every week, I will quickly preview the marquis game(s) involving ACC teams. Some weeks there may only be one game on this list, but theoretically there could be more than six on the list. There are three ACC games that you must watch this weekend.

Tennessee vs. North Carolina State, Friday 7:30 PM ET, ESPN U

There are plenty of reasons to watch this game, but the biggest one may be the fact that this is the first ACC game of 2012. This is the first part of the two-part Chic-Fil-A Kick Off in Atlanta. There will have plenty of story lines in this one. Is the Wolf Pack as good as advertised? Can Tennessee’s offense survive without All-SEC wide receiver Da’Rick Roberts? This is sure to be a good game and one you shouldn’t miss.

Clemson vs. Auburn, Saturday 7:00 PM ET, ESPN

This is the second Chic-Fil-A Kick Off game. These two teams played last year in Death Valley, and it was the start of Clemson’s rise into the national spotlight. After Clemson defeated Auburn, they turned around to beat both Florida State and Virginia Tech. Auburn is going to be a solid SEC team but they are stuck in the loaded SEC West with Alabama and LSU. Clemson on the other hand is attempting to recover from their embarrassing loss in last year’s Orange Bowl. That starts on defense, and new Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables will try to turn around a below-average defense.

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech, Monday 8:00 PM ET, ESPN

This is the perfect way to end a jam packed football weekend: a rivalry game on Labor Day. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are the kings of the ACC Coastal Division. The winner of this game has gone on to win the division every year since 2005 when the ACC adopted division play. Needless to say, a lot rides on this game. The Hokies won last year in a dramatic battle, a game so full of emotion that Georgia Tech linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu punched Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas because he wouldn’t fall to the ground. Don’t expect fisticuffs this time around, but definitely expect a fantastic game.

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