Another batch of spring games will be brought hot out of the oven this weekend, and the ACC has a whole bunch of them -- nine, to be precise. For fans looking to get one final taste of something resembling actual football until the start of the 2018 season, these spring games whet the palate.
From Syracuse on Friday to Florida State and Miami on Saturday evening, there's a lot of action in 24 hours. So, here's a quick primer to get you up to speed on what's happening among ACC teams this weekend.
Date: Friday, April 13 | Time: 7 p.m. ET | Watch: ACC Network Extra
The Orange upset Clemson last season ... and then didn't win another game (though they were at times a thorn in their opponent's behind). Coming off a 4-8 season, you'd expect coach Dino Babers to embrace plenty of competition, and indeed that's the case here. The entire linebacker corps is new and some younger players will be pushing for playing time in the secondary. But the most glaring battle is at quarterback where Eric Dungey is back from foot surgery, though he's been getting pressure from Tommy DeVito, who just had three touchdowns in a recent scrimmage.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 11:30 a.m. ET | Watch: ACC Network Extra
Steve Addazio's dudes will wrap up spring early on Saturday. The star of the show will be running back AJ Dillon, but his place in the offense has already been set. There will be no Anthony Brown at quarterback as he continues to recover from a season-ending knee injury, so E.J. Perry is the guy for right now. There are also interesting competitions at wide receiver, which boasts a lot of returning experience. On the other side of the ball, BC is looking for defensive line help. Veterans like Zach Allen, Wyatt Ray and Ray Smith are set, but more players are looking to make a name for themselves before the regular season.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 1 p.m. ET | Watch: ACC Network Extra
The Blue Devils enter 2018 as one of the more experienced teams in the ACC and could be a fun pick as a Coastal contender. The biggest area of concern is offensive line, which must replace three starters. Zach Harmon and Julian Santos are the key returners, but Robert Kraeling, Rakavius Chambers as well as Ohio State transfer Jack Wohlabaugh -- should he receive a waiver from the NCAA allowing him to play this season -- are likely contributors up front as well.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 1 p.m. ET | Watch: TBD
We pretty much know who will succeed Lamar Jackson at quarterback: Jawon Pass. What the offensive line looks like, though, is the more pressing story. O-line protection has been a problem for the Cardinals and injuries played a part in that. Overall, it looks like Louisville will use the same starters from last year, including Lukayus McNeil, Kenny Thomas and Mekhi Becton. One of the names emerging out of practice is tackle Linwood Foy. Chances are fans won't see a ton of complex blitzes or pressures, so it'll be tough to gauge just how far the O-line has come. Still, protection up front will be the main storyline come Saturday.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 1 p.m. ET | Watch: TBD
There are plenty of questions on offense with this team. Quarterback Kenny Pickett will be under a microscope as the No. 1 option at under center since Ben DiNucci transferred out of the program. The offensive line has been reconstructed as well. Given that the Panthers finished next to last in the ACC in points per game in 2017, it's not like it can get much worse. Do the Panthers show glimpses of answers on Saturday?
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET | Watch: ESPN
Ah, yes, the quarterback competition that isn't one. Incumbent starter Kelly Bryant only led the Tigers to an ACC Championship and College Football Playoff appearance. Still, there's intrigue surrounding Clemson's blue-chip backups Hunter Johnson and freshman Trevor Lawrence. There's also interest in the wide receiver competition. Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud are gone, so names like Tee Higgins could emerge as big stars for 2018.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET | Watch: TBD
As usual, many eyes will be on Bud Foster's defense. Defensive tackle Tim Settle as well as linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Andrew Motuapuaka are just three of the key pieces gone from last year's front seven. A couple of names to watch as possible successors to those stars are Dylan Rivers and Rayshard Ashby, respectively. However, there's just not a lot of experience or depth at linebacker -- or in the secondary, for that matter. The development of the back-end of the defense will be a storyline to follow throughout all of 2018.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 6 p.m. ET | Watch: ACC Network Extra
Deondre Francois, the Week 1 starting quarterback last season, isn't 100 percent yet and probably won't be until the summer as he continues recovering from a season-ending torn patellar tendon. That means we'll be seeing a lot more of James Blackman, who performed well (2,230 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 11 picks) in replacing Francois last year. However, this will be a new-look spread offense and a departure from Jimbo Fisher's pro-style attack that operated at a snail's pace. New coach Willie Taggart won't have everything installed yet, so Saturday's scrimmage is more about execution and consistency.
Date: Saturday, April 14 | Time: 6 p.m. ET | Watch: TBD
There are a lot of key components to replace from last year's team. The most fascinating position for competition is at defensive line. R.J. McIntosh and Kendrick Norton left for the NFL, while Chad Thomas and Trent Harris graduated. There's certainly talent along the line, including Jonathan Garvin and Joe Jackson at edge, that can pick up where last year's group left off. Overall, this unit should be fine, but it'll be interesting to see what this mostly new-look group looks like.