ACC, Clemson unveil 2014 football schedule

Clemson's Dabo Swinney walks with players in a pregame team walk during warmups at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Dabo Swinney walks with players in a pregame team walk during warmups at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida.

The ACC announced the 2014 football schedule this afternoon and here's what's ahead for Clemson (analysis below)...

Aug. 30 at Georgia

Sept. 6 S.C. State

Sept. 13 Bye

Sept. 20 at Florida State

Sept. 27 UNC

Oct. 4 N.C. State

Oct. 11 Louisville

Oct. 18 at Boston College

Oct. 25 Syracuse

Nov. 1 Bye

Nov. 6 at Wake Forest

Nov. 15 at Georgia Tech

Nov. 22 Georgia State

Nov. 29 South Carolina

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The Atlantic Division could be settled pretty quickly...again.

The ACC announced its 2014 football schedule Wednesday, and along with it, a conference opener for Clemson versus Florida State for the third time in four seasons.

As the series shifts back to Tallahassee, the winner of the regular season matchup has conquered the division the last five years – and the ACC title, the last three.

Both rival's schedules feature an FCS opponent (S.C. State for Clemson) then a bye week before the Sept. 20 showdown in Doak Campbell Stadium. With at least eight days to prepare, Dabo Swinney's staff is 10-0 over the last two seasons (FSU is 8-0).

Florida State returns Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston and more stars on both sides of the ball. Clemson last won at FSU in 2006.

The Tigers open against an SEC opponent for the fifth consecutive year and their first trip to Georgia since 2002 (a 31-28 loss). Both sides will feature new gunslingers, replacing record-breaking quarterbacks Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray.

New division-mates Louisville (Oct. 11) and Syracuse (Oct. 25) will be making their first-ever Death Valley appearances this season. The Tigers and Cardinals haven't met on the gridiron, while Clemson and Syracuse can break a 1-1 tie in their short series.

Louisville bookends a run of three consecutive ACC home games starting with UNC (Sept. 27) then N.C. State (Oct. 4) – a quirk to the schedule Clemson hasn't had since 1991. The Cardinals enter their new digs with a new and also former coach, Bobby Petrino, after clinching at least a share of three Big East titles from 2006-13. The Wolfpack are winless in their last five games in Memorial Stadium, while the Tar Heels gave up 59 in a loss their last I-85 South drive (2011, 59-38 defeat).

Clemson makes the return trip to Boston College in October as well, where they have split since the Eagles joined the league in 2005.

With eight 2013 bowl teams on the slate, Clemson's head coach is confident they are in a good spot for this year's power shift.

“This schedule allows us to compete to reach the (four-team) College Football Playoff,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “It is a challenging schedule. Just look at the beginning. We play at Georgia and at Florida State within the first three games.

“On paper, based on last year’s results, it looks to be more difficult than last year. Louisville was a 12-1 team ranked in the final top 15 and North Carolina finished strong winning six of its last seven games.”

After a Thursday matchup at Wake Forest (Nov. 6), the final stretch has its challenges.

Clemson heads to Atlanta and Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium after a two-year absence, where they are 0-for-their-last-four.

The Tigers close with two home games for only the second time since 2006, facing FBS-newbie Georgia State (fresh off a 0-12 first year at this level) and rival South Carolina. The Gamecocks have won two in a row in Death Valley, by 15.5 points a game.

Coming off an 11-2 record and No. 8 final ranking, Clemson is expected to return 12 starters, including seven on the defensive side.

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Comments » 21

clmtgr92 writes:

Not too bad of a schedule. Bye week before FSU helps, but UNC right after FSU might be tough. The November 6 Thursday night game @ Wake gives some extra days off as well before and after. Although, I am not a big fan of the Thursday games.

clemvol writes:

There's only one game on this schedule that counts.

Xander5000 writes:

All road games - important.
Against N. Carolina - important.
Against Louisville - important.

NOVEMBER 29th 2014 - - EPICALLY IMPORTANT!!!!!!

Put it in your locker room Coach Dabo Swinney.

CUTigers1865 writes:

I honestly don't think this schedule is as easy as it seems. UGA and FSU will be tough no doubt. We have to win 1 or both preferably. UNC will be a challenge, it seems as if they have turned their program around especially towards the end of last year. Louisville always seems to play up but they will be w/o the Bridgewater & Strong combo and could drop games to the lower opponents in the league. Petrino is one heck of a coach though so we shall see. GT & SC are always circled in my books. You just never know in those games. Any ways, looking forward to August already. Go Tigers!

TigerFan95 writes:

UGA is going to be a tough one coming out the gate but is a winnable game. FSU is the only sure loss. UNC & Louisville will give us a good game, but we should win them both. BC, NC St & GT will be their usual pesky selves but we'll beat them handily in the end. Wake, SC St and Ga St can already be put in the win column and we're going to end the streak against SC in a very big way and win by three scores or more. I see another 10-2 season and a trip to the Peach bowl or maybe even to one of the major bowls if the cards fall right. At worst we go 9-3.

essoclub writes:

in response to clemvol:

There's only one game on this schedule that counts.

Agreed. Amen.

T1G3R_4_L1F3 writes:

in response to clemvol:

There's only one game on this schedule that counts.

Yessir!

radtiger writes:

Georgia, Fla State, NC, Louisville and SC are sure losses for Clemson....No Boyd,No Watkins,No Win

DerrikB writes:

No Shaw no Clowney and a Clemson Defense that will leave a pile of chicken feathers on the floor of Death Valley

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

in response to radtiger:

Georgia, Fla State, NC, Louisville and SC are sure losses for Clemson....No Boyd,No Watkins,No Win

What little mind you had has certainly left your head through the air holes on the side of your head. Most teams will have trouble even making a first down against us next year and our offense will be as good or even better than this year's offense. Wait and see!

TRUTH4U2 writes:

in response to tigerrob44#291802:

What little mind you had has certainly left your head through the air holes on the side of your head. Most teams will have trouble even making a first down against us next year and our offense will be as good or even better than this year's offense. Wait and see!

Curious as to what lead you to this thinking. If you take a look at the quality teams Clemson played. The defense was not that impressive.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to tigerrob44#291802:

What little mind you had has certainly left your head through the air holes on the side of your head. Most teams will have trouble even making a first down against us next year and our offense will be as good or even better than this year's offense. Wait and see!

Robbie...Robbie, have you fallen off the wagon and hit your head again? Trouble making a first down? Offense better than last years? Awfully big statements and braggin' there my boy.Been hearing that for several years. UGA..a whuppin'...FSU...really ugly..USC..how does 6 in a row grab ya? UNC and UL are gonna play you tough, and could beat you. At best..9-3...at worst..7-5.Derckb, or whatever your name is...stop sniffing that glue...it's killing your brain cells, and it appears you don't have many to spare.

TigerNE writes:

I still amazed how some people continue to take the bait offered by _radtiger_, _TheTruth46_, etc.

With the exception of the OOC teams (our choices), this schedule is about as good as could be expected. A bye before FSU and GaState before SCar works pretty well for us.

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

in response to TigerFan95:

UGA is going to be a tough one coming out the gate but is a winnable game. FSU is the only sure loss. UNC & Louisville will give us a good game, but we should win them both. BC, NC St & GT will be their usual pesky selves but we'll beat them handily in the end. Wake, SC St and Ga St can already be put in the win column and we're going to end the streak against SC in a very big way and win by three scores or more. I see another 10-2 season and a trip to the Peach bowl or maybe even to one of the major bowls if the cards fall right. At worst we go 9-3.

If we can get by the "bull doggies" we are on our way to at least an 11 and 1 season and a Sugar Bowl game to end it with. SC has no prayer of beating us again and were very, very, very lucky we turned the ball over 6 times this year or we would have won handily.

DerrikB writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Robbie...Robbie, have you fallen off the wagon and hit your head again? Trouble making a first down? Offense better than last years? Awfully big statements and braggin' there my boy.Been hearing that for several years. UGA..a whuppin'...FSU...really ugly..USC..how does 6 in a row grab ya? UNC and UL are gonna play you tough, and could beat you. At best..9-3...at worst..7-5.Derckb, or whatever your name is...stop sniffing that glue...it's killing your brain cells, and it appears you don't have many to spare.

No glue over here, just the "truth". You gonna face a defense that keeps getting better since it hit rock bottom. Fsu only loss and it will be good game.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to DerrikB:

No glue over here, just the "truth". You gonna face a defense that keeps getting better since it hit rock bottom. Fsu only loss and it will be good game.

Remember hearing the same story when Steele came from Alabama. How'd that turn out for ya? It just seems reasonable, if Venables is the Einstein of defensive football you think he is, Bob Stoops and OU would have kept him. They can certainly afford to do so. Don't be bettin' your doublewide...you could very well be homeless.

DerrikB writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Remember hearing the same story when Steele came from Alabama. How'd that turn out for ya? It just seems reasonable, if Venables is the Einstein of defensive football you think he is, Bob Stoops and OU would have kept him. They can certainly afford to do so. Don't be bettin' your doublewide...you could very well be homeless.

Ha ha you the one sniffin' glue there buddy, if you are going to compare this defense with Steele's (9-36 at Baylor). Or maybe you are delusional from the fumes of chicken urine. Seven returning starters from a defense that held Carolina to a few over 300 (half from Shaw). And as I said, no shaw, no clowney.... they gonna see their streak go bye bye.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to DerrikB:

Ha ha you the one sniffin' glue there buddy, if you are going to compare this defense with Steele's (9-36 at Baylor). Or maybe you are delusional from the fumes of chicken urine. Seven returning starters from a defense that held Carolina to a few over 300 (half from Shaw). And as I said, no shaw, no clowney.... they gonna see their streak go bye bye.

Another outstanding example of a watermelon mouth, combined with a peanut brain. Clemmons had approximately 30 more yards...for the entire game. In the event nobody has informed you...the object of defense is to keep your opponent from scoring. SC kept the ball slightly over 11 minutes of the 4th quarter...outscored you 14-0. Get the picture, or do you need crayons? Same thing happened in 2012, when Dylan Thompson ran all over you, and more to come. I would be delighted to engage you in a battle of wit, but, it is evident you are woefully unprepared and unarmed.

DerrikB writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Another outstanding example of a watermelon mouth, combined with a peanut brain. Clemmons had approximately 30 more yards...for the entire game. In the event nobody has informed you...the object of defense is to keep your opponent from scoring. SC kept the ball slightly over 11 minutes of the 4th quarter...outscored you 14-0. Get the picture, or do you need crayons? Same thing happened in 2012, when Dylan Thompson ran all over you, and more to come. I would be delighted to engage you in a battle of wit, but, it is evident you are woefully unprepared and unarmed.

Hey dude you are overlooking the 6 turnovers our offense gave up. And 3 or 4 of those were in the 4th quarter. Take those away and the numbers would have even been worse. The defense did there job in that game. And as far as 2012 that was the first year Brent had with the defense. So you might need to think about your own wit. But I don't care about the talk. We'll see come November who knows what they are talking about!

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to DerrikB:

Hey dude you are overlooking the 6 turnovers our offense gave up. And 3 or 4 of those were in the 4th quarter. Take those away and the numbers would have even been worse. The defense did there job in that game. And as far as 2012 that was the first year Brent had with the defense. So you might need to think about your own wit. But I don't care about the talk. We'll see come November who knows what they are talking about!

Yeah, and if grasshoppers carried 45's...birds would leave them alone. Pay close attention and we'll cover this one more time boy genius. Turnovers are part of the game, whether forced or unforced..Clemmons had some of both. As I explained to you previously...the purpose of defense is to get your opponents offense off the field asap, and more importantly...stop them from scoring. Moo-U's defense failed miserably at both, especially in the 4th quarter with the game on the line...turnovers or not. In closing Junior, after reading your posts again, I'm guessing you to be somewhere between 12 and 16 years of age(pretty close..huh). You are young enough to learn to stop whining and making excuses. Based on this, I will no longer engage you. Use the extra time to learn something about the game. So please, run along and play with your kiddie friends, and leave the big boys alone. Thank you.

DerrikB writes:

in response to TheTruth46:

Yeah, and if grasshoppers carried 45's...birds would leave them alone. Pay close attention and we'll cover this one more time boy genius. Turnovers are part of the game, whether forced or unforced..Clemmons had some of both. As I explained to you previously...the purpose of defense is to get your opponents offense off the field asap, and more importantly...stop them from scoring. Moo-U's defense failed miserably at both, especially in the 4th quarter with the game on the line...turnovers or not. In closing Junior, after reading your posts again, I'm guessing you to be somewhere between 12 and 16 years of age(pretty close..huh). You are young enough to learn to stop whining and making excuses. Based on this, I will no longer engage you. Use the extra time to learn something about the game. So please, run along and play with your kiddie friends, and leave the big boys alone. Thank you.

Clemson coughed up the ball 6 times, twice on a punt return, to a top ten team and still held them to about 320 yards of offense and 31 points. That's not a bad showing of defense. If Clemson's offense wouldn't have choked Carolina would have had under 300 yards of offense and half the points at least. So again my point is that Clemson has a good defense. Obviously you are too busy thinking up corny one liners to understand that. Stick to your day job and that is obviously not guessing people's ages at the amusement park. You are probably the guy who runs the comic book store on the Simpsons.

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