Week 5 Preview: ACC championship rematch, AAC showdown
This week’s college football action features defending national champion Clemson continuing its demanding early-season schedule by facing another ranked team on the road.
Outside the Power Five, a game pushed back a month due to Hurricane Irma features two unbeaten teams that already own victories over major-conference programs this season.
Here are five things to know about Week 5:
No. 2 Clemson at No. 12 Virginia Tech
This rematch of last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game features two unbeaten teams that could meet for the league title again in December.
Clemson won that ACC championship game 42-35 and went on to capture the national title, but statistics suggest there won’t be nearly as much scoring this time. Clemson ranks third nationally in total defense and scoring defense , while Virginia Tech is sixth in scoring defense.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has won all four of his previous meetings with Virginia Tech.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Stanford’s sluggish start to the season shouldn’t overshadow Love’s spectacular individual results.
Love rushed for 263 yards last week in a 58-34 victory over UCLA and actually would have gone over the 300-yard mark if a holding penalty hadn’t nullified a 48-yard touchdown run. He has rushed for 787 yards and has averaged 196.8 yards rushing per game to lead all Football Bowl Subdivision players in both categories.
He’s averaging an astounding 10.8 yards per carry heading into Saturday’s game with Arizona State.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
253.3: The average number of all-purpose yards that Penn State’s Saquon Barkley gains per game. That’s 23.3 yards per game more than any other FBS player and 55.3 yards per game more than anyone else in the Power Five.
1-2: Alabama’s record against Mississippi since the start of the 2014 season, including a 48-43 victory last year . Alabama has gone 43-2 against everyone else during that stretch.
17-4: Florida coach Jim McElwain’s career record in one-possession games, following the Gators’ 28-27 victory at Kentucky last week. Florida is 9-1 in one-possession games during McElwain’s tenure.
0-2: That’s the won-loss record of Florida State, which opened the season ranked third. The last time Florida State opened a season 0-2 was in 1989. The Seminoles ended that year ranked third with a 10-2 record.
UNDER THE RADAR
Memphis at Central Florida
This game was originally scheduled to take place Sept. 9 but got pushed back due to Hurricane Irma.
Since then, each of these unbeaten American Athletic Conference teams has knocked off a Power Five program to lend this matchup more intriguing.
Memphis garnered some national acclaim Sept. 16 with a 48-45 home victory over UCLA , which was ranked 25th at the time. UCF went on the road last week and rolled to a 38-10 triumph over previously unbeaten Maryland.
The two opposing coaches - Memphis’ Mike Norvell and UCF’s Scott Frost - soon could be hearing their names associated with Power Five vacancies.
HOT SEAT WATCH
It’s been a tough September for Tennessee’s Butch Jones.
In its last two games, Tennessee has lost 26-20 to Florida on a tiebreaking 63-yard touchdown pass as time expired and struggled to a 17-13 victory over winless 27 ½-point underdog Massachusetts . Jones closed his Monday press conference by criticizing media coverage of his program and saying that “sometimes the negativity is overwhelming.”
Jones can help his cause quite a bit by upsetting No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, but a loss would make the Volunteers 0-2 in Southeastern Conference competition.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee