Coach Speak: ACC vs. C-USA
By Dan Harralson
It is finally game week and Conference USA will square off in three prime games against the ACC.
Today Football.com talked to the three ACC coaches that are going head-to-head with the C-USA teams. Lets take a look at the three matchups:
FAU vs. Miami (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Miami looks to regain their national prominence in the third year since Al Golden took his coaching talents to South Beach. Golden won six games in 2011 and seven last year. In order to keep improving, talents like quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson will have to lead this team. The 1983 national championship Miami team will be honored at Friday night's game.
Here is Al Golden's take on FAU: "I think certainly in South Florida here, it's created a lot of energy. And playing Florida Atlantic for the first time is awesome, especially on a night we're honoring Howard Schnellenberger because he's meant so much to both programs.
FIU vs. Maryland (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, FSN)
FIU parted ways with Mario Cristobal, who is now Alabama's offensive line coach. The former Illinois head coach, Ron Turner, debuts as FIU's head coach Saturday. Both teams had disappointing, losing seasons last year and Maryland head coach Randy Edsall will have to turn things around in College Park. FIU brings back an experienced quarterback in Jake Medlock, but Turner will switch from Cristobal's spread attack to a pro-style offense.
Here is Randy Edsall's take on the FIU game: "Well, you just basically said who their leader is there on offense in terms of Jake Medlock coming back, and he's an outstanding quarterback.
My pick: Maryland
Louisiana Tech vs. North Carolina State (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)
Both schools have new, well-known coaches. Louisiana Tech brings in former ECU and South Florida head coach Skip Holtz while N.C. State brings in Dave Doeren from Northern Illinois. Doeren is a solid coach who took Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl last year. Doeren also knows that in games like this, it is harder to game plan against an opponent in which he really is not sure what Louisiana Tech may throw out there.
Here is Dave Doeren's take on the La. Tech game: "Yeah, I mean, it's difficult. You see it a lot in your first — really your first three games of the year, you'll have at least one of them against a new staff.