ACC announces 2014 football schedule
Posted January 22, 2014
The 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference football schedule released Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford is composed of 113 games, including 56 conference contests over a span of 15 weeks culminating in the 10th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6.
NC State will play five of its first seven games at Carter-Finley Stadium in 2014. The Pack will open the season at home on Aug. 30 versus Georgia Southern and will close the 2014 regular season with a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Chapel Hill to take on UNC. On Sept. 27, State will welcome 2013 National Champion FSU to Carter-Finley, while cross-divisional rival Georgia Tech will visit Raleigh for the first time since 2011 on Nov. 8.
North Carolina will play six home games at Kenan Stadium, along with NC State's trip on Nov. 29, the Tar Heels host Virginia Tech (Oct. 4), Georgia Tech (Oct. 18) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 15). Carolina travels to East Carolina on Sept. 20 for just the fourth time. Their schedule is also highlighted by road games at Notre Dame (Oct. 11) and UNC’s first-ever ESPN Thursday night game at Duke on Nov. 20.
Including the North Carolina game at Duke, the Blue Devils will have seven home games during the 2014 season. Beginning with the season-opener against Elon on Saturday, August 30, Duke will start the campaign with its four non-conference games. The Blue Devils open conference play at Miami Sept. 27.
ACC teams will play more nonconference games against teams in ESPN’s “Way Too Early Top 25” rankings for 2014 (12) and more games against teams in the final AP Top 25 (9) than any of the other Power Five Conferences and will play 24 nonconference games against teams that participated in bowl games in 2013, which tied the Big Ten for most of any Power Five Conference.
"This is an exciting time in ACC Football, and as we look ahead to the 2014 season, it’s clear that our teams have once again combined for a strong lineup of nonconference opponents, along with our competitive league schedule," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "In addition to the overall schedule and season, we look forward to welcoming Louisville into the ACC and beginning our annual scheduling agreement with Notre Dame.”
Among the nonconference foes this year is Notre Dame, which begins its scheduling with the ACC this fall with four games, including against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. (Sept. 27), home games in South Bend, Ind., against North Carolina (Oct. 11) and Louisville (Nov. 22) and at Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. (Oct. 18).
Louisville officially joins the ACC on July 1 and will compete in the Atlantic Division with defending champion Florida State, Boston College, Clemson, NC State, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The Coastal Division remains as it was in 2013 with champion Duke followed by Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Louisville makes its league debut, hosting Miami in its first ACC football game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville on Monday, Sept. 1. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with an 8 p.m. kickoff.
On the opening weekend of the season (Aug. 30), defending National Champion Florida State takes its nation’s best 16-game winning streak to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where the Seminoles will face Oklahoma State in the sixth annual Cowboys Classic. The Classic will mark the fifth meeting between the Seminoles and Cowboys and first since the 1985 Gator Bowl, won by Florida State 34-23.
Two other games featuring nationally ranked teams dot the opening weekend when Clemson, which finished 2013 ranked 8th in the AP final poll, travels to Athens, Ga., to face Georgia, ranked 11th in ESPN’s Too Early Top 25; and when Virginia hosts UCLA, which is ranked 7th in ESPN’s Too Early Top 25. Both games will be on Saturday, Aug. 30.
The league will also have five games nationally-televised by ESPN on Thursday nights beginning with Virginia Tech traveling to Pitt on Oct. 16 which begins a string of four straight Thursday night appearances for the ACC, including Miami at Virginia Tech (Oct. 23), Florida State at Louisville (Oct. 30) and Clemson at Wake Forest (Nov. 6). The final 2014 ACC Thursday night contest on ESPN will see North Carolina traveling to Duke on Nov. 20 for the Blue Devils’ first appearance on the ESPN Thursday night package since 1996 and their first home appearance since 1994. Duke finished the 2013 season ranked 23rd in the final AP poll, while North Carolina is rated 17th in the “Way Too Early ESPN Top 25” for 2014.
For the second year, the ACC will also play three nationally televised games on Friday, beginning with Boston College hosting Pitt (ESPN, or ESPN2) on Sept. 5; followed by Louisville at Syracuse (ESPN or ESPN2) on Oct. 3 and finally, Virginia Tech hosting Virginia on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 28. The Hokies and Cavaliers previously played on Thanksgiving Friday in 1996.