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Week 1 Football: What to Watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

Connecticut v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Welcome to Week 1 of the 2023 season, the second weekend of college football...

Anyways, the best part about this weekend is that NC State plays on Thursday...

The Wolfpack head to Connecticut to take on UConn, a matchup of two bowl teams from 2022, each of which expect to take a step forward in 2023.

From a national perspective, the big game on Thursday night will be Florida taking on Utah. Last year’s matchup in Gainesville was phenomenal. Utah QB Cam Rising is phenomenal and a must-watch player (assuming he plays since he’s recovering from an ACL tear suffered late last year), so keep that game on your second TV.

On Friday, Louisville and Georgia Tech get the honors of the first ACC game of the season. Georgia Tech is looking to improve in Year 2 under Brent Key while Louisville will kick off Year 1 under former QB Jeff Brohm. Before that Cardinals-Jackets game, there’s the battle for Miami. The Hurricanes may have the decided edge in producing NFL players, but the RedHawks are far and away more productive at putting out NFL head coaches.

Also Friday, potential future ACC member Stanford tries not to lose on the road at Hawaii.

The big matchups Saturday include Tony Elliott trying to have Virginia look respectable at Tennessee, Deion Sanders and his completely revamped Colorado roster taking on last year’s national runners up, West Virginia and Penn State finally renewing a rivalry that hasn’t taken place since 1992, and North Carolina and South Carolina facing off to see which fan base that colloquially uses “Carolina” is more annoying (spoiler alert: it’s the northernmost of those two schools).

Former Wolfpack WR Devin Carter will likely be starting for the Mountaineers against the Nittany Lions, which is going to be a bit awkward considering Carter first committed to Penn State after leaving NC State before switching to West Virginia.

Carter’s former QB Devin Leary, as well as former NC State RB Demie Sumo-Karngbaye, will start his Kentucky career at noon on Saturday. Leary is the Wildcats starting QB (of course), but Sumo-Karngbaye is slated for backup duties.

LSU vs Florida State in Orlando is your big Sunday game, while Clemson heads to Durham on Monday evening to take on Duke in another opening week ACC tilt.

Yes, that’s five straight days spanning the Labor Day weekend with college football games.

Breathe it in! It is glorious.

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.


FCS/170 Elon @ 45/48 Wake Forest - 7:00pm - ACCN

42/40 NC State @ 125/127 UConn - 7:30pm - CBSSN

23/36 Florida @ 14/16 Utah - 8:00pm - ESPN

59/49 Nebraska @ 27/29 Minnesota - 8:00pm - FOX


109/101 Central Michigan @ 46/45 Michigan State - 7:00pm - FS1

101/102 Miami (OH) @ 37/43 Miami (FL) - 7:00pm - ACCN

40/42 Louisville @ 75/89 Georgia Tech - 7:30pm - ESPN

92/92 Stanford @ 120/134 Hawaii - 11:00pm - CBSSN


87/84 East Carolina @ 3/4 Michigan - 12:00pm - Peacock

79/86 Virginia @ 8/6 Tennessee - 12:00pm - ABC

88/90 Colorado @ 21/18 TCU - 12:00pm - FOX

107/104 Ball State @ 24/37 Kentucky - 12:00pm - SECN

63/75 Fresno State @ 58/59 Purdue - 12:00pm - BTN

115/96 Northern Illinois @ 78/82 Boston College - 12:00pm - ACCN

2/3 Ohio State @ 83/94 Indiana - 3:30pm - CBS

48/39 Boise State @ 17/19 Washington - 3:30pm - ABC

FCS/208 Tennessee State @ 11/11 Notre Dame - 3:30pm - NBC

FCS/191 Wofford @ 36/34 Pittsburgh - 3:30pm - ACCN

FCS/220 Colgate @ 55/66 Syracuse - 4:00pm - ACCNX

FCS/179 Albany @ 73/70 Marshall - 6:00pm - ESPN+

56/53 UTSA @ 57/60 Houston - 7:00pm - FS1

60/52 West Virginia @ 6/10 Penn State - 7:30pm - NBC

25/33 North Carolina vs 33/26 South Carolina - 7:30pm - ABC

121/125 Old Dominion @ 72/73 Virginia Tech - 8:00pm - ACCN

68/80 Coastal Carolina @ 28/38 UCLA - 10:30pm - ESPN


85/72 Northwestern @ 77/81 Rutgers - 12:00pm - CBS

31/32 Oregon State @ 94/93 San Jose State - 3:30pm - CBS

5/7 LSU vs 12/24 Florida State - 7:30pm - ABC


7/8 Clemson @ 50/62 Duke - 8:00pm - NBC