College Football Week 2 preview: Top ACC, Big 12 schools kicking off 2020 seasons

The second week of the college football season will feature a bigger slate with some of the top schools from the ACC and Big 12 conferences in action.

Barring any last-minute postponements, Clemson, North Carolina, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas are among the schools that will be competing on Saturday.

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have chosen to push forward with a college football season despite the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences postponing its fall sports schedules. SEC schools aren’t in action until the fourth week of the college football season.

Here’s a look at some of the key matchups ready for kickoff.

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(18) NORTH CAROLINA vs. SYRACUSE

No. 18 North Carolina has plenty of hype with quarterback Sam Howell leading an offense full of returning playmakers for Mack Brown's second season. The Tar Heels open Saturday against Syracuse with a chance to prove the hype is deserved. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

No. 18 North Carolina has plenty of hype with quarterback Sam Howell leading an offense full of returning playmakers for Mack Brown’s second season. The Tar Heels open Saturday against Syracuse with a chance to prove the hype is deserved. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

North Carolina comes into the matchup as the No. 18 ranked school in the country. The Tar Heels finished last season with a 7-6 overall record and a 4-4 record in the ACC in Mack Brown’s first season since returning to the school. Syracuse finished 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the conference. The Orange only lost by three points the last time the two schools met.

TAR HEELS KEY PLAYERS: Sam Howell (QB), Michael Carter (RB), Dazz Newsome (WR), Beau Corrales (WR), Chazz Surratt (LB)

ORANGE KEY PLAYERS: Andre Cisco (S), Kinglsey Jonathan (DE)

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): Noon

WATCH: ACC Network

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(23) IOWA STATE vs. LOUISIANA

Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during warmups before the game between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Iowa State Cyclones on December 28, 2019 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during warmups before the game between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Iowa State Cyclones on December 28, 2019 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Iowa State has its first game of the season against Louisiana. The Cyclones are the 23rd ranked team in the country and are coming off of a 7-6 season in which they were 5-4 in the Big 12. Louisiana is no slouch of a team. They finished 11-3 last season and were 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.

CYCLONES KEY PLAYERS: Brock Purdy (QB), Charlie Kolar (TE), JaQuan Bailey (DE), Greg Elsworth (DB)

RAGIN CAJUNS KEY PLAYERS: Levi Lewis (QB), Elijah Mitchell (RB), Joe Dillon (DL),

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): Noon

WATCH: ESPN

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(10) NOTRE DAME vs. DUKE

The 10th-ranked Fighting Irish are giving up their football independence for this year to play for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

The 10th-ranked Fighting Irish are giving up their football independence for this year to play for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Notre Dame will try to get back into the national championship picture this season after a disappointing 2019. The team was 11-2 overall but didn’t make the College Football Playoff. Duke finished second-to-last in the Coastal Division of the ACC. The Blue Devils were 5-7 overall and 3-5 in conference play.

FIGHTING IRISH KEY PLAYERS: Ian Book (QB), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB), Drew White (LB), Kyle Hamilton (S)

BLUE DEVILS KEY PLAYERS: Deon Jackson (RB), Noah Gray (TE), Victor Dimukeje (DL), Chris Rumph II (DL)

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): 2:30 pm

WATCH: NBC

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(5) OKLAHOMA vs. MISSOURI STATE

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down much of Division I football, but with three of the Power Five leagues still playing, there are still some big games to look forward to. Oklahoma takes on Texas on Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down much of Division I football, but with three of the Power Five leagues still playing, there are still some big games to look forward to. Oklahoma takes on Texas on Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Oklahoma gets to begin its quest to a national championship with Missouri State. The Sooners are coming in as the No. 5 ranked team in the nation. They were 12-2 overall last season and finished 8-1 in Big 12 play. The Bears are an FCS school looking for a huge upset. The team was 1-10 overall last year and 1-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

SOONERS KEY PLAYERS: Spencer Rattler (QB), Rhamondre Stevenson (RB), Austin Stogner (TE), LaRon Stokes (DL), Tre Brown (CB)

BEARS KEY PLAYERS: Jaden Johnson (QB), Lorenzo Thomas, (WR), Jordan Murray (TE), Tyler Lovelace (LB)

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): 7 pm

WATCH: N/A

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WAKE FOREST vs. (1) CLEMSON

The top-ranked Tigers are 29-1 over the past two seasons and have won five straight ACC championships. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The top-ranked Tigers are 29-1 over the past two seasons and have won five straight ACC championships. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Clemson, the top-ranked team in the nation, begins its quest for another national championship. Clemson lost in the title game last season to LSU. The Tigers were 14-1 and 8-0 in the ACC. Wake Forest is hosting the Tigers for the first game of the season. The Demon Deacons were 8-5 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

DEMON DEACONS KEY PLAYERS: Sam Hartman (QB), Carlos Basham Jr. (DL)

TIGERS KEY PLAYERS: Trevor Lawrence (QB), Travis Etienne (RB), Tyler Davis (DT), Derion Kendrick (CB)

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): 7:30 pm

WATCH: ABC

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(14) TEXAS vs. UTEP

For Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, each day of summer workouts and training camp felt like uneasy steps toward a season that might never come. And even with his team's first kickoff coming Saturday night, Ehlinger holds his breath worrying that the coronavirus pandemic could still derail everything. (AP Photo/Austin Gay, FIle)

For Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, each day of summer workouts and training camp felt like uneasy steps toward a season that might never come. And even with his team’s first kickoff coming Saturday night, Ehlinger holds his breath worrying that the coronavirus pandemic could still derail everything. (AP Photo/Austin Gay, FIle)

The Longhorns will look to get back to glory in 2020 and the Miners are their first opponent of the season. Texas was 8-5 overall last season and 5-4 in Big 12 play. UTEP went 1-11 overall last season and failed to win a game against Conference USA opponents. UTEP defeated Stephen F. Austin last week, 24-14.

LONGHORNS KEY PLAYERS: Sam Ehlinger (QB), Joseph Ossai (LB), Caden Sterns (CB), D’Shawn Jamison (DB)

MINERS KEY PLAYERS: Gavin Hardison (QB), Quadraiz Wadley (RB), Jacob Cowing (WR)

DATE: Sept. 12

TIME (ET): 8 pm

WATCH: Longhorn Network