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Yahoo Sports US logo Yahoo Sports US 9/3/2021 Yahoo Sports Staff

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Before we get potential game of the year Georgia-Clemson on Saturday, there are a few Friday night college football games to take in.

And it's also Sam Howell's first chance this season to impress NFL scouts.

The North Carolina quarterback has the potential to be in the top 10 of next year's draft. He'll lead the Tar Heels into their season opener against Virginia Tech in a game that will be on ESPN. North Carolina is a 6-point favorite against the Hokies at BetMGM.

Last season when these teams met, North Carolina won 56-45. The Tar Heels have a lot back, including Howell and are coming off an Orange Bowl appearance. Virginia Tech was 5-6 last season and should be better this season, but probably isn't on North Carolina's level.

There's a reason North Carolina is No. 10 in the country. There's a lot of hype and expectations for this season, and while that can be a burden, it speaks to its returning talent. It's a tough opener, having to travel to Blacksburg and the first Hokies sellout crowd since 2019, but I'll trust the Tar Heels' talent to win and cover.

What about the other games on Friday?

Like Thursday, there are a lot of games that you'll need to be a diehard college football fan to get excited about.

Here are the other games, with spreads from BetMGM:

Duke (-6.5) vs. Charlotte Old Dominion vs. Wake Forest (-31.5) St. Francis (Pa.) vs. Eastern Michigan (-32.5) South Dakota vs. Kansas (-13) Michigan State vs. Northwestern (-3) Northern Colorado vs. Colorado (-38) South Dakota State vs. Colorado State (-3)

Unless you're really excited about Kansas potentially getting a win, there's not a ton there. The Big Ten game is moderately interesting, and I'd take Michigan State since Northwestern has almost nothing returning.

What about the weekend?

Yahoo Sports' Sam Cooper has you covered and then some in his excellent Week 1 viewing guide. Check it out. But as a bonus, I'll be on Georgia and the points and look out for San Jose State putting USC on upset alert.

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