NEW YORK (AP) — No. 23 Texas A&M (1-0) at Miami (1-0). This is the kind of match-up The U used to dominate in their national title heyday.
The game could be the Hurricanes’ way to make a huge statement about where they’re heading under second-year coach Mario Cristobel if they can knock off the Aggies, who themselves are looking to show they are no longer the blundering program they were a year ago in going 5-7 and finishing last in the SEC West Division.
Miami got off to a strong start with a 38-3 victory over Miami of Ohio last week. The Aggies also looked strong in beating New Mexico 52-10 and holding their opponent to just 92 yards rushing.
But the Hurricanes feature veteran Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback and had three runners with at least 47 yards, led by Henry Parrish Jr., who had 90 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries.
SNEAKY GOOD MATCHUP
Pittsburgh, the ACC champion two years ago, hosts Cincinnati just two years after the Bearcats were the talk of college football when they reached the College Football Playoff.
That Cincinnati team featured current NFL players like quarterback Desmond Ridder of Atlanta and cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, now starring for the New York Jets. The Panthers were led to a league title by another NFL quarterback, Kenny Pickett, now with PIttsburgh.
Both current teams had stress-free openers against FCS opponents. Pitt defeated Wofford 45-7 while Cincinnati routed Eastern Kentucky 66-13.
The game is a renewal of the “River City Rivalry,” when both teams played in the Big East Conference from 2005 through 2012. The Panthers lead the overall series 8-4.
Virginia Tech made it past Old Dominion to open the season. Can the Hokies get past Purdue of the Big Ten?
The Boilermakers were one of the lowlights of Week 1, getting knocked off at home by Fresno State 39-35 to spoil the debut of Purdue coach Ryan Walters. Walters and his team will have fix some issues fast to keep Virginia Tech from its second 2-0 start over the past three seasons.
The Hokies are a 3-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Virginia will play its first home game since the shooting deaths of three Cavaliers players and the wounding of a fourth last November. The team canceled the rest of its games and returned to action last week with a loss to No. 9 Tennessee in Nashville.
Wide receivers Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler and defensive end D’Sean Perry were killed in the shooting. Tailback Mike Hollins was wounded in the attack. Virginia coach Tony Elliott said it will be an emotional day at Scott Stadium.
“We promised the family members that we would never forget their loved ones,” athletics director Carla Williams said, ”and we will keep that promise.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
No. 4 Florida State’s win over LSU last Sunday was the first win of 20 or more points over an Top-Five team since 1988. … No. 21 Duke’s victory over No. 25 Clemson ended a string of 28 straight losses to Top-10 teams. … North Carolina coach Mack Brown won his 100th game with the Tar Heels and became the only college coach with 100 victories at two schools. He won 158 while coach at Texas. … Clemson outgained Duke 422 to 374 and had 29 first downs to the Blue Devils 17. But the Tigers couldn’t score, falling 28-7. … Virginia takes on instate, Sun Belt Conference opponent James Madison for the first time since 1983. The schools are less than 60 miles apart. … Take the over: Appalachian State comes to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina. A year ago, the teams combined for 124 points in the Tar Heels’ 63-61 victory and 1,216 yards.
South Carolina transfer Jaheim Bell showed his versatility for Florida State in the opener. Bell, the 6-foot-3, 239 junior from Lake City, Florida, had a 4-yard touchdown run and a 44-yard TD catch in the 45-24 victory over now No. 14 LSU last Sunday night.
Bell was the wildcard of the Gamecocks’ offense the past few seasons, lining up in the backfield and on the outside as South Carolina went 8-5 last season. Bell was the team’s second-leading rusher and third-leading receiver.