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What to Watch: College Football Week Eight

Lots of movement in the ACC standings will take place this weekend.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Virginia Cavaliers may have more uncertainties surrounding the program than most, just about any team in the ACC (no, not you Clemson) has question marks heading into Week Eight.

That includes the two teams meeting up for the conference’s lone Top 25 showdown this Saturday, which will kick off our slate of games to watch.

No. 23 NC State Wolfpack at No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels

Your weekend-viewing experience should begin on Tobacco Road. Coming off a brutal loss in Tallahassee—one where then-No. 5 North Carolina climbed all the way back from 31-7 down only to see three consecutive dropped passes late in the fourth quarter and fall three points short—the fighting Mack Browns need to respond in a big way if they still hope to prove that they can meet this year’s lofty expectations.

Conversely, NC State, following an embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 26, has rattled off three wins in a row. On Saturday, though, they’ll have to turn to redshirt junior Bailey Hockman at quarterback in place of an injured Devin Leary. It will be just his fifth-ever start for the Wolfpack.

TV - ESPN, Saturday, 12:00 PM

Clemson v North Carolina
Head Coach Mack Brown
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Pittsburgh Panthers

After looking anything but impressive in last week’s 12-7 squeaker over lowly Louisville, Notre Dame will look to turns things around against Pittsburgh, who now sits at .500 after three consecutive conference losses. With a win, the Irish would move to 5-0, keeping them firmly on track for the title of second-best in the ACC.

TV - ABC, Saturday, 3:30 PM

No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

This game should come down to Virginia Tech’s running attack versus Wake Forest’s passing game. Whichever team can better stop the other in these respective departments will have the advantage.

Beyond the X’s and O’s, Saturday’s matchup between these two should give the Cavalier faithful a better idea of just how far the gap is between the Hoos and the Hokies, given that UVA just fell to Wake Forest in the same stadium a week ago.

TV - Regional Sports Networks (RSN) or ESPN3, Saturday, 3:30 PM

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Duke
Quarterback Hendon Hooker
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Cavaliers at No. 11 Miami Hurricanes

Can Virginia get off the snide with a big win at Miami in primetime? If the spread indicates anything, then odds tell us that they will not (the line currently sits at 12.5 points in favor of the Hurricanes).

That’s not to say Miami has been overly impressive of late. After getting blown out by Clemson in Week Six, the ‘Canes earned an ugly win against a Kenny Pickett-less Pittsburgh team at home last Saturday. Perhaps the Cavaliers, then, might be able to surprise some folks this weekend (especially if starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong returns).

TV - ACC Network, Saturday, 8:00 PM