North Carolina running back Omarion Hampton (28) runs in for...

North Carolina running back Omarion Hampton (28) runs in for a touchdown with North Carolina offensive lineman Willie Lampkin (53) cheering him on during the second overtime of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Credit: AP/Reinhold Matay

Here are things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Week 3:

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 21 Duke against Northwestern. The Blue Devils started with a bang by stunning preseason ACC favorite Clemson, then pushed through a challenging short week to beat Lafayette in a second-half downpour.

Coach Mike Elko said the team is still dealing with some lingering physical effects from two games in six days. He estimated the team will do about 80% to 85% of its practice-week workload leading up to the game.

The Blue Devils are 2-0 for the second time in as many seasons under Elko and in the AP Top 25 for the first time in five years. Now they get a shot at a power-conference win against Northwestern, with the Wildcats (1-1) being led by interim coach David Braun after the offseason firing of Pat Fitzgerald over a hazing and abuse scandal within the program.

BEST MATCHUP

Minnesota's defense against No. 20 North Carolina's offense. The Gophers (2-0) are ranked eighth in the Bowl Subdivision, allowing 223.5 yards per game, and tied for 10th by allowing just 16 points through two games.

Duke coach Mike Elko looks toward the field during the...

Duke coach Mike Elko looks toward the field during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Lafayette in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. Credit: AP/Ben McKeown

The Tar Heels (2-0) have a likely Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Drake Maye and a running back coming off a 234-yard day in Omarion Hampton for the No. 2 total in any FBS game this season.

Third down will be key: the Tar Heels are fifth nationally in third-down conversion rate at 61.5% (16 of 26), while the Gophers have allowed eight conversions and a 38.1% rate.

LONG SHOT

Virginia gets a reunion with a former ACC peer with Friday's trip to Maryland and is a big underdog. The Terrapins were an early 14 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Virginia's Anthony Colandrea (10) throws the ball during an NCAA...

Virginia's Anthony Colandrea (10) throws the ball during an NCAA college football game against James Madison in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. Credit: AP/Mike Kropf

The Cavaliers (0-2) lost their opener to a ranked Tennessee team and then blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead at home to James Madison. Virginia did get a big performance against JMU from first-year passer Anthony Colandrea, who threw for 377 yards and two scores with starter Tony Muskett sidelined by injury.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Clemson hosts Florida Atlantic on Saturday night in its first game as an unranked team in nearly two years. The Tigers fell out of the AP Top 25 to end a run of 21 straight polls as a ranked team, a stretch beginning in November 2021. Clemson opened with a top-10 ranking (No. 9) for the eighth straight season, but fell to No. 25 after the Duke loss and then out of the poll after beating Championship Subdivision opponent Charleston Southern.

Before 2021, Clemson had been in every poll since November 2014.

IMPACT PLAYER

Texas A&M transfer Haynes King has provided some offensive punch for Georgia Tech.

King ranks 12th in FBS by averaging 301.5 yards per game through the air, while his seven TD throws are tied for sixth nationally. He’s also thrown just one interception.

The Yellow Jackets visit No. 17 Mississippi on Saturday.

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