04/16/2024
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By Sonny Jones

These are glorious times for Tobacco Road football. In fact, it’s the best it has ever been going into the final Saturday of September.

Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest already made history two weeks ago when each were unbeaten after two games for the first time. That doesn’t possible. After all, the quartet all had football teams by 1892.

Today, each school enters play with 3-0 records. How many will be 4-0 by the end of the day?

One, for sure. At least as sure as you can be in today’s world of college football where Marshall beats Notre Dame, Appalachian State beats Texas A&M and Georgia Southern beats Nebraska.

N.C. State figures to roll past UConn. The Wolfpack is a 38½-point favorite. It figures to be a nice scrimmage, assuming there are no major injuries, ahead of N.C. State’s showdown next Saturday against Clemson.

As for the other three teams, well, let’s just say it’s possible, but unlikely.

Wake Forest is a 7½-point underdog in Winston-Salem against a Clemson team that wants its Atlantic Division title back after losing it to the Deacons last season. Wake has averaged 42 points per game in its three wins, but hasn’t faced a defense like Clemson’s. The Tigers have won 13 straight against Wake.

North Carolina is a 1½-point favorite against Notre Dame in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are seeking their firt 4-0 start in 25 years. The offense has been high-powered, averaging 51 points per game, but the defense has been low-powered, yielding 37 points per game. It will be interesting to see how UNC freshman quarterback Drake Maye fares against the Irish defense. It will be his toughest test to date. This should be a good one. UNC is 2-20 all-time against Notre Dame and the Irish has won 24 straight regular-season games against ACC opponents.

Duke is a 7½-point underdog at unbeaten Kansas. David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium is sold out and Jayhawks fans are excited about their team after an overtime win at West Virginia and a solid win at Houston. The Blue Devils’ three wins have come against teams that are a combined 2-7. Mike Elko is the first Duke coach to start 3-0 since Fred Goldsmith in 1994.

Will any of the three join N.C. State at 4-0? We’ll know by early evening.

SATURDAY’S PICK TO CLICK

Max Homa to make it 3-for-3 in the Presidents Cup. He’ll team with Tony Finau again in foursomes. The duo won 1-up in Thursday’s opening foursomes against Taylor Pendrith and Mito Pereira. In Round 3, Finau and Homa will play Si Woo Kim and Cam Davis in foursomes.

FRIDAY’S PICK: Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will continue their winning ways in the Presidents Cup. A day after improving to 5-0 in foursomes, the pair will beat the International duo of Hideki Maysuyama and Tom Kim on Day 2. RESULTS: Cantlay and Schauffele built a 5-up lead midway through the round and settled for a 3 & 2 victory.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

1995 — On the final day of competition, Europe rallies past the U.S. to win the Ryder Cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

• GOLF: Presidents Cup, 7 a.m., GOLF and 8 a.m., NBC

• LAVER CUP: Europe vs. World, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., TENNIS

• FOOTBALL: Clemson at Wake Forest, noon, ABC

• FOOTBALL: Missouri at Auburn, noon, ESPN

• FOOTBALL: Duke at Kansas, noon, FS1

• LPGA: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, noon, GOLF

• MLB: Boston at NY Yankees, 1 p.m., MLBN

• PGA: Pure Insurance Championship, 3 p.m., GOLF

• FOOTBALL: Notre Dame at North Carolina, 3:30 p.m., ABC

• FOOTBALL: Florida at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., CBS

• FOOTBALL: Texas at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

• NASCAR XFINITY: Andy’s Frozen Custard 300, USA, 3:30 p.m.

• FOOTBALL: Oregon at Washington State, 4 p.m., FOX

• MLB: Atlanta at Philadelphia, 5 p.m., MLBN

• ATP: San Diego semifinals, 6 p.m., TENNIS

• FOOTBALL: Wisconsin at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m., ABC

• FOOTBALL: Charlotte at South Carolina, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

• FOOTBALL: Boston College at Florida State, 8 p.m., ACCN

• FOOTBALL: Kansas State at Oklahoma, 8 p.m., FOX

• MLB: St. Louis at LA Dodgers, 10 p.m., MLBN

• FOOTBALL: Utah at Arizona State, 10:30 p.m., ESPN

• FOOTBALL: Stanford at Washington, 10:30 p.m., FS1

• WTA: Tokyo singles final, 11 p.m., TENNIS

Sonny Jones can be reached at wibbyj@gmail.com and follow on Twitter @FOSonnyJones.

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