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ACC kicks off 2008 football season this Thursday

Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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Pittsboro, NC - Four ACC teams -- Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State and Wake Forest--begin the 2008 season -- the ACC's 56th football campaign -- on Thursday night, with seven others scheduled for Saturday contests as all but Florida State open play on the season's first weekend.

Georgia Tech, which begins the Paul Johnson Era on The Flats against Jacksonville State, and Miami, which hosts Charleston Southern in its first home game in Dolphin Stadium, get a jump on everyone with 7:30 pm kickoffs (ESPN 360) on Thursday. NC State (ESPN), which travels to South Carolina, and Wake Forest, (Fox Sports Net), which journeys to Baylor, follow a half hour later in a pair of nationally- televised games at 8 p.m.

Tigers' Cullen Harper

9th-ranked Clemson and 17th-ranked Virginia Tech face a pair of neutral site tests as the Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, No. 23 Wake Forest Open Thursday; No. 9 Clemson, No. 17 Virginia Tech Face Neutral Saturday Tests Tigers meet 24th-ranked Alabama in Atlanta's Georgia Dome, in a split national ABC telecast at 8 pm, while the Hokies travel to Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium for a 12 noon nationally-televised (ESPN) contest with East Carolina. Both ACC teams are led by quarterbacks on the Davey O'Brien watch list in the Tigers' Cullen Harper and the Hokies' Sean Glennon.

Wake's Riley Skinner

There are four ACC signal callers on the O'Brien pre-season list including Wake's Riley Skinner and FSU's Drew Weatherford. The Clemson-Alabama contest will also welcome ESPN's Game Day crew, marking the third straight year that an ACC game has opened the season accompanied by Game Day.

Virginia faces one of the biggest tests of the early season, hosting Southern California (No. 3 AP, No. 2 USA Today) at Scott Stadium in a 3:30 pm contest on ABC. Boston College travels to a neutral site Saturday, facing Kent State at Cleveland Browns Stadium in a 7:30 pm game on ESPNU. The Eagles will be looking to senior QB Chris Crane to fill the shoes left by departed All-America Matt Ryan.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe

Three other ACC schools open up at home, led by Duke and its new head coach David Cutcliffe, which hosts James Madison in a 7 pm contest at Wallace Wade Stadium; North Carolina, which hosts McNeese State in a 6 pm game at Kenan Stadium and Maryland, which has a 3:45 pm appointment with Delaware at Byrd Stadium. All 3 teams return the QBs who began last year as starters in Thaddeus Lewis for the Blue Devils, T.J. Yates for Tar Heels and Jordan Steffy for the Terrapins.

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ACC kicks off 2008 football season this Thursday
NC State will travel to South Carolina for a Thursday night ESPN football game.
photo by Gene Galin
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