We are in week three of the ACC football season and there are still teams that are gearing up for their first game action.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is not thrilled with how the Blue Devils schedule has shaped up due to COVID-19 changes, the ACC Network’s own Wes Durham discusses all things ACC football and NC State heads to Virginia Tech.
The Blue Devils are coming off a surprising 26-6 loss to Boston College – surprising as Duke was favored by nearly a touchdown. Head coach David Cutcliffe took the blame for the team not playing as well as they did in week one against Notre Dame. This week Duke is at Virginia. The Cavaliers are one of two teams, the other being Virginia Tech, who have yet to play this season. That’s three straight games Duke has played against team’s who are opening their season and Cutcliffe isn’t happy about it.
“I don’t like openers, period,” Cutcliffe said Monday. “I think it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been through. I doubt this has ever happened in college football where a team had three openers three games you play where you have no film to study. We know a lot about Virginia but you’re still not looking at the 2020 version of Virginia. Any changes that they’ve made, we don’t know exactly what they’re going to be. It’s been challenging. Our players are a little irritable about it to be real honest with you. It’s a unique setting. It’s what we’ve been given. We have to deal with it and just move forward.”
It is definitely a unique setting and to break down the first few weeks of ACC play, watch the video below with the ACC Network’s Wes Durham.
NC State also finds themselves in another “opening game” scenario as they head to Virginia Tech. The Hokies have yet to play and are still dealing with a depleted roster due to a flurry of positive COVID earlier this month.
“It’s a little bit like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube and a new layer of the Rubik’s cute gets added every single day,” Fuente said Monday. “Trying to figure out who’s available and who can get work and bring the team together, all the things that come with this.”
The biggest question for the Hokies will be at the quarterback position, do they go with redshirt junior Hendon Hooker, who made 8 starts and led the team in total offense last season, or back-up Braxton Burmeister, an Oregon transfer who had to sit last season. Fuente said he plans on playing both but wouldn’t say how the reps will shake out.
The Wolfpack will again go with back-up quarterback Bailey Hockman, starter Devin Leary was able to go against Wake however after missing 20 practices due to quarantine for contact tracing, coach Doeren said he just wasn’t ready to play. Hockman, a redshirt junior, completed 70 percent of his throws, had 191 yards passing and a touchdown as he led NC State to a 45-42 win over Wake Forest last week.
This will be the 50th meeting between NC State and Virginia Tech with the Hokies winning 4 out of the last 5 since joining the ACC in 2004.