Florida State has had to wait nearly three weeks to get a season-opening loss to Alabama out of its system.
Whether that layoff will prove to be yet another hurdle for the Seminoles (0-1) when N.C. State (2-1) visits Tallahassee on Saturday has to be the No. 1 question Jimbo Fisher has about his 11th-ranked team.
“You worry about rust,” Fisher said. “You worry about that as a coach because you haven’t played in so long,”
Because of concerns over Hurricane Irma and its aftermath in Florida, the Seminoles have essentially had a second “preseason” camp.
The biggest test for the Seminoles will be breaking in freshman quarterback James Blackmon, who became the designated starter after Deondre Francois was likely lost for the season to a leg injury suffered in the Alabama game.
Fisher said the extra practices have been beneficial for Blackmon but that the key will be for the freshmen to realize he just has to get the football to the other skilled players on offense.
“No quarterback has to try to win the game. Trust your eyes and make the right decision,” said Fisher. “When you make the right decision, good things happen, whether you throw or run the ball.”
N.C. State enters Saturday having won its last two games after also losing its opener against an SEC team in South Carolina.
The game will be the ACC opener for both schools since FSU’s scheduled contest against Miami last week was rescheduled to Oct. 7.
Mark Richt’s Hurricanes also have had a 21-day layoff going into their home game against Toledo.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
N.C. State at Florida State, 11 a.m., ABC/ESPN2
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech, 11:20 a.m., ACC Network
Boston College at Clemson, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Duke at North Carolina, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Syracuse at LSU, 6 p.m., ESPN2
- Clemson (3-0, 1-0): Last Week – W, at Louisville, 47-21. The Impact – Dabo Swinney’s bunch has served notice that the only unanswered question left in the ACC is which team will finish second. Tigers are 9-1 in Top 15 matchups over last three seasons.
- Miami (1-0): Last Week – Postponed, Florida State. The Impact –.Because of storm damage Hurricanes spent week practicing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities in Orlando for home game against Toledo.
- Florida State (0-1): Last Week – Postponed, Miami. The Impact –Seminoles will finally learn if freshman James Blackmon can handle starting QB duties. If he falters, Ryan Finley-led Wolfpack could score enough points to make things interesting.
- Louisville (2-1, 1-1): Last Week – L, Clemson, 47-21. The Impact – Lamar Jackson set ACC’s career rushing record for QB but his hopes for second Heisman was crushed by Tigers.
- Georgia Tech (1-1): Last Week – Cancelled, UCF. The Impact – After having only four days between first two games, Yellow Jackets essentially have had two-week “mini-camp” to prepare for ACC opener against Pitt.
6. Duke (3-0): Last Week – W, Baylor, 34-20. The Impact: Shaun Wilson scored on runs of 50 and 65 yards, finished with 176, and Blue Devils have won their first three games for first time since 1994.
7. Wake Forest (3-0, 1-0): Last Week – W, Utah State, 46-10. The Impact – Greg Dortch became first freshman in Demon Deacons’ history to have TD catch in his first three games.
8. Virginia Tech (3-0): Last Week – W, at East Carolina, 64-17. The Impact – Only a redshirt freshman, QB Josh Jackson threw for 372 yards and five TDs, including three to Cam Phillips.
9. N.C. State (2-1): Last Week – W, Furman, 49-16. The Impact – Wolfpack finally flexed their muscles in running game with 242 yards but it came against FCS Paladins.
10. Syracuse (2-1): Last Week – W, Central Michigan, 41-17. The Impact – Sean Riley had 247 all-purpose yards for the Orange, including a 64-yard kickoff return, but never found the end zone.
11. Virginia (2-1): Last Week – W, Connecticut, 38-10. The Impact: Kurt Benkert broke his own school record for passing yards in a game with 455, including 127 to Andre Levrone and 122 to Olamide Zaccheaus.
12. Pittsburgh (1-2): Last Week – L, Oklahoma State, 59-21. The Impact –Panthers were picked apart, leading Pat Narduzzi to label the blowout loss as ”about the worst day you can have at the office.” Well, except for being fired.
13. Boston College (1-2, 0-1): Last Week – L, Notre Dame, 49-20. The Impact – BC stayed close until late in third quarter before being blown out by Irish, which isn’t a good sign for Saturday’s game against relentless Clemson.
14. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1): Last Week – W, at Old Dominion, 53-23. The Impact – Tar Heels are surrendering 35 points per game, which can’t make Larry Fedora happy, but getting a win was at least a step in the right direction.
Virginia at BOISE STATE, 7 p.m. CT, ESPN2
N.C. State at FLORIDA STATE, 11 a.m., ABC/ESPN2
Kent State at LOUISVILLE, 11 a.m., ACC Network
Pittsburgh at GEORGIA TECH, 11:20 a.m., ACC Network
Old Dominion at VIRGINIA TECH, 12 p.m., ACC Network Extra
Boston College at CLEMSON, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
DUKE at North Carolina, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Toledo at MIAMI, 2:30 p.m., ACC Network
WAKE FOREST at Appalachian State, 2:30 p.m., ESPN3
Syracuse at LSU, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Last Week: 9-1