Clemson Football released their schedule for the 2014 season on Wednesday:
Aug. 30- @ Georgia
Sept. 6- S.C. State
Sept. 13- Bye Week
Sept. 20- @ Florida State
Sept. 27- UNC
Oct. 4- N.C. State
Oct. 11- Louisville
Oct. 18- @ Boston College
Oct. 25- Syracuse
Nov. 6- @ Wake Forest (Thursday)
Nov. 15- @ Georgia Tech
Nov. 22- Georgia State
Nov. 29- South Carolina
On paper, the 2014 football schedule looks to be the most difficult the Clemson Tigers have had in a while. They open the season in Athens playing Georgia for the second year in a row. Georgia finished last season with a record of 8-5, losing their bowl game against Nebraska. Then, Clemson welcomes South Carolina State back to Death Valley, also for the second year in a row. SC State finished the season with a record of 9-4 and advanced to the first round of the FCS playoffs.
Following a bye week, Clemson will travel to Tallahassee to play Florida State, the defending National Champions. They finished last season 14-0, beating Auburn in Pasadena by 3 points. The last game between Clemson and Florida State was played in Death Valley and got ugly very quickly. The Seminoles defeated the Tigers 51-14, giving Clemson the first of their two loses during the 2013 season. The winner of the Clemson v. Florida State game has won the ACC Atlantic Division the last five years and the ACC Championship the last three (Clemson in 2011, Florida State in 2012 and 2013).
After the ACC opener, Clemson plays the other seven ACC games all in a row. North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Louisville will travel to Death Valley the following three weeks. This will be Louisville’s first visit to Death Valley and their first season as a member of the ACC. The only two programs to ever win in their first trip to Clemson are Marshall in 1999 and Miami (FL) in 2005. Then, Clemson will travel to Boston College, who finished their season with a record of 7-6 and a loss in a bowl game.
Syracuse will also make their first visit to Death Valley the following week in an attempt to add their name to the first-time winners. They completed their inaugural season with a win in a bowl game. However, when Clemson traveled to New York last season as one of only 20 remaining undefeated FBS teams, Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt threw for only 52 yards, had three interceptions, and was sacked four times.
At the next game on Thursday night at Wake Forest, the Tigers hope to keep their Thursday winning streak alive. Clemson has won their last three Thursday night games and their last five non-Saturday games. The following week, Clemson plays at Georgia Tech, where they have not won since 2003.
Clemson will finish the season with two home games for the first time since 2006. Georgia State will also come to Death Valley for the first time. In their first FBS season last year, the Panthers finished with a record of 0-12, so they don’t pose much of a threat to the Tigers.
Clemson will wrap up the season with the traditional Palmetto Bowl game against South Carolina, in Death Valley this year. The Tigers are 0-5 against the Gamecocks in the last five years, but coming off their incredible win against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl and a remarkable class of recruits, anything seems possible for Clemson this year.