ACC: ACC toughest stretch 2014

Toughest stretch: Wake Forest

June, 26, 2014
Jun 26
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

WAKE FOREST

Toughest stretch: Sept. 27-Oct. 18 (at Louisville, at Florida State, Bye, Syracuse)

Why: Dave Clawson features no shortage of challenges in his first season as Wake Forest's coach. An early season stretch that features road contests against two of his division's expected top teams could only make things more difficult.

The Demon Deacons get an easy enough nonconference slate to open the season, as they go to Louisiana-Monroe, host Gardner-Webb, travel to Utah State and host Army. But they could be in a rude awakening one week later, Sept. 27, as they open conference play at ACC newcomer Louisville, which is a bit of a wild card this early in the game. Like Wake, the Cardinals have a new coach and lost a number of key players from last season. But they are clearly talented, and Bobby Petrino has proven himself at the elite level in the past, though it remains to be seen what he can do in his second act at Louisville and how soon he can get things on track, especially now that the American Athletic Conference (and Big East) days are behind the program. Things only get more difficult a week later, when the Deacs head down to Tallahassee to take on defending national champion Florida State, which went to Winston-Salem last season and delivered a 59-3 beatdown to the home team.

The bye week one week later, Oct. 11, will likely be a necessary one for Wake after its battle with the Seminoles. And the Deacs do get two home games following that, against Syracuse and Boston College, before another bye. We throw that Orange game in there as part of the toughest stretch because the Orange have the opportunity to take a big step in Year 2 under Scott Shafer after going 7-6 last season in their ACC debut. One thing that could be working in Wake's favor is the timing of that matchup, as not only will the Deacs be coming off a bye week, but the Orange will be facing them between contests against ACC powers FSU and Clemson. Syracuse facing Louisville one week before it hosts the Noles only makes this game a more favorable one calendar-wise for Wake, though it should still be a tough game to win.

That's the way it goes for first-year coaches undertaking rebuilding jobs. They need to steal wins wherever they can. And the opportunities ahead of Clawson and Wake Forest, at least in ACC play, might be few and far between in 2014.
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

Virginia Tech

Toughest stretch: Oct. 4-23 (at North Carolina, at Pittsburgh, vs. Miami)

Why: The Hokies should actually be tested early this season, with nonconference games against Ohio State and East Carolina (always a thorn in Virginia Tech’s side), as well as the ACC opener against Georgia Tech in its first four games, so fans should have a pretty good idea by the end of September if this team is ready to compete.

But if September is an appropriate test for Frank Beamer’s crew, October will be the turning point in Virginia Tech’s season.

After wrapping up the nonconference slate against Western Michigan to close September, the Hokies get North Carolina on Oct. 4 in the first of three straight games that figure to help define the Coastal Division.

UNC finished last season as one of the nation’s hottest teams, and many early prognosticators have the Tar Heels pegged as the Coastal favorites for 2014. Virginia Tech has the luxury of a bye week after its trip to Tobacco Road, but the Hokies then head north to Pitt, where the Panthers offense figures to be an exceptional test for Tech’s strong secondary. The trifecta ends with a home date against Miami, the second straight week of prime-time football for the Hokies.

The funny thing about this stretch for Virginia Tech is that, even during what fans considered a down season in 2013, the Hokies still were a perfect 3-0 against UNC, Pitt and Miami. But as we look ahead to 2014, the Heels and Panthers appear to have gotten better, Miami should have a healthy Duke Johnson back in the lineup, and questions still surround how much offense the Hokies can muster. If they go 3-0 in those games again, though, it could mean a return to the ACC title game for Virginia Tech.

Toughest stretch: Virginia

June, 24, 2014
Jun 24
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

VIRGINIA

Toughest stretch: Nov. 8-28 (at Florida State, Bye, Miami, at Virginia Tech)

Why: Virginia did not make this an easy selection, as the Cavaliers have an intriguing nonconference slate that features early contests against UCLA and at BYU, with the latter game coming one week after the ACC opener against league newcomer Louisville. Nevertheless, the final three games of the season figure to be the toughest for Virginia when grouped together, even if there is a bye to break things up on Nov. 15.

A Nov. 8 trip to Florida State is, well, a trip to Florida State. The Seminoles are the reigning national champions and will be playing their first game of their final month in their quest to potentially defend their title. Sure, FSU gets Virginia between games at Louisville and at Miami, making for a possible trap, but this still remains the toughest game on the Cavaliers' -- and, really, anyone's -- schedule. The bye a week later will be a welcome one for Virginia, especially with a stretch of three road games in four weeks preceding it. But awaiting it on the other end is a Miami team hungry to take the next step in Year 4 of the Al Golden era. And six days later comes a Friday night trip to rival Virginia Tech, winners of 10 straight in this annual matchup.

The three-game stretch that comes before this one for Virginia is hardly a cakewalk, as it features a trip to defending Coastal Division champion Duke, a home tilt with North Carolina, and a trip to Georgia Tech. But collectively the group of three of the ACC's traditional powers awaiting at the end of a critical season for Mike London and the Cavaliers makes for a tough stretch to top, one that will likely require an upset or two for Virginia to finish on a high note after a winless league campaign in 2013.

Toughest stretch: Syracuse

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

Syracuse

Toughest stretch: Sept. 27-Oct. 11 (vs. Notre Dame, vs. Louisville, vs. Florida State)

Why: In each of the past two seasons, Syracuse has opened the year by dropping four of its first five games against teams from Power 5 conferences, but in both years, it went on to play in (and win) a bowl game. No doubt the Orange would love to get out of the gates on a better note in 2014, but that should at least provide a small silver lining if this year's grueling first-half slate proves to be too big a hurdle for Terrel Hunt and Co.

Hunt’s progress at quarterback throughout 2013 is a big reason Syracuse finished strong and is a major cause for optimism around the program now, but the tests in 2014 will be huge.

While Syracuse actually gets a relatively easy start to the schedule (Villanova, bye week, Central Michigan and Maryland), things heat up quickly. The three-game stretch against Notre Dame, Louisville and FSU is as tough as any ACC team will face this season, and even after the Orange complete that gauntlet, they’ll still have Clemson waiting two weeks later (Oct. 25).

The three-game stretch against the Fighting Irish, Cardinals and Seminoles figures to test both Syracuse’s maturity (can the Orange play at peak levels three weeks in a row?) and its depth (can it physically survive that brutal slate without tapping into the far reaches of the depth chart?), but it at least has the advantage of playing two of the three games at home in the Carrier Dome (and Notre Dame close to home at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey). And, while the Orange were smoked by FSU last season, they did win their last matchups against Louisville (in 2012) and Notre Dame (in 2008).

If Syracuse can win just one of these three games, another bowl invite would appear likely. But surviving with at least one win in these contests is also crucial to the Orange's postseason hopes because four of their final six games are on the road.

Toughest stretch: Pittsburgh

June, 20, 2014
Jun 20
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. We're taking a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

PITTSBURGH

Toughest stretch: Nov. 15-29 (at North Carolina, vs. Syracuse, at Miami)

Why: It’s a little tough to pick out a toughest streak for the Panthers, as their schedule sets up perfectly for a run to the ACC championship game. The Panthers avoid Clemson and Florida State, allowing for much more wiggle room for a loss to a Coastal counterpart. As far as Pitt even making a run toward the Top 25, Pitt’s nonconference schedule includes Akron, Delaware, FIU and Iowa, which means they avoid Notre Dame in the ACC rotation as well.

Those nonconference games are all within the season’s first five weeks, but the Panthers need to finish the season strong if they’re to win the Coastal Division. North Carolina and Miami are among the favorites to represent the division in the conference championship, and Pittsburgh must play both on the road. This stretch also begins following a home game against Duke, and while Pitt bested the Blue Devils last season, this is not the same old Duke team everyone came to know on the gridiron.

The positive with these games coming late in the season is it allows for Chad Voytik to grow more comfortable as the new leader of the offense. Tom Savage is off to the NFL, and the Panthers are tasked with replacing the solid, if unspectacular, quarterback. Voytik stepped in for an injured Savage in the bowl game and played admirably. If Voytik plays with the confidence he did that December night, he could be a sleeper All-ACC selection and provide the type of offense capable of knocking off North Carolina and Miami in November.
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. We're taking a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

NORTH CAROLINA

Toughest stretch: Sept. 27-Oct. 11 (at Clemson, vs. Virginia Tech, at Notre Dame)

Why: An afterthought through the first half of 2013, a second-half surge by North Carolina has the Tar Heels projected by many to represent the Coastal in the ACC championship game. With a soft nonconference schedule to start the season, North Carolina should be riding high at 3-0 going into its game in Death Valley. While Clemson might not be the top-10 team it was a season ago as it breaks in a new offense, the Heels will certainly be tested in that road environment. A victory at Clemson would validate the Heels’ confidence after early wins against non-Power 5 schools.

Once the Coastal power, Virginia Tech is reeling and 2014 could be another tough season in Blacksburg. North Carolina is already listed as a 10-point favorite against the Hokies, and that number could grow if the Heels are 4-0 and Ohio State blows out Virginia Tech on Sept. 6. Still, Frank Beamer is one of the country’s best coaches and might surprise the pundits who are ready to bury college football’s longest-tenured coach. Luckily for the Heels, this one is in Chapel Hill. Games are exponentially tougher when the Hokies have Lane Stadium’s backing.

The stretch ends with a visit to Notre Dame. Much like Clemson, a win against the Irish in South Bend would substantiate the preseason claim that the Heels are a legitimate division contender and a potential Top-25 team in Larry Fedora’s third season. Prognostications vary on how strong the Irish will be, but a victory against even a mediocre Notre Dame squad will go a long way rallying a program looking to break into the ACC’s top tier, which has housed only Clemson and Florida State the last few seasons.

Toughest stretch: Miami

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. We're taking a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

MIAMI

Miami Hurricanes football
Toughest stretch: Oct. 23-Nov. 15 (at Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State)

Why: Miami plays one of the most difficult schedules in the ACC, featuring 10 teams that made bowl games a season ago. But this three-game stretch is the most challenging, for a host of reasons. It will most likely determine whether the Hurricanes can get to their first ACC championship game. If you remember back to our ACC Road Trip series, Miami vs. Virginia Tech and Miami vs. Florida State were our selections for best games on their respective weekends.

Start with Virginia Tech. This has developed into one of the better rivalries in the ACC because the two programs have a long history, going back to their days in the Big East. Fighting for conference championships is nothing new when these two teams play. Miami has not won in Blacksburg since 2005, and this game is on a Thursday night -- making the stakes all the greater because the environment is electric at Lane Stadium for midweek games. Coastal Division hopes were on the line when these teams played a season ago. Virginia Tech won in an upset.

The following week, Miami returns home to play North Carolina -- one of the favorites to win the Coastal. Miami has won three of the last four against the Tar Heels, including a thriller on a Thursday night in Chapel Hill a year ago. But many believe North Carolina is better positioned to compete for a Coastal crown this season, based partly on how the teams ended last season (North Carolina ended with wins in six of its final seven games, Miami ended with losses in four of its final six games). In addition, North Carolina is expected to have more stability at quarterback, even though the starter is still undetermined.

A bye comes next, then the all-important showdown against Florida State. The defending national champs are the best team Miami will face this season. Florida State has won four straight and five of the last six in the series and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. Miami was able to stay with Florida State for a brief time during their game a year ago, but its lack of depth and defensive problems were made even more apparent as the game wore on. As it stands today, Florida State is an early two-touchdown favorite in the contest.

You can see why this stretch is particularly critical. Given the cluttered Coastal, Miami cannot afford many slipups. In the early odds, Miami is favored to beat only North Carolina among these three games, and the Canes are a one-point favorite at that. An upset or two here would be huge for the still-growing Hurricanes.

Toughest stretch: Louisville

June, 16, 2014
Jun 16
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Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. We're taking a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

LOUISVILLE

Toughest stretch: Oct. 11-30 (at Clemson, vs. NC State, vs. Florida State)

Why: While Bobby Petrino inherits a program that has won 23 games over the last two seasons, the expectation is Louisville will undergo growing pains as Petrino rebuilds the Cardinals in his image for the second time. However, if Louisville does make a surprise run and is in the race for the ACC title, the Cards will need to win at least two games during that October stretch.

Clemson has recruited extremely well over the last few cycles, and its defense -- specifically the line -- could be the ACC’s best. The offense is suspect going into the season as Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins embark on their NFL careers. Running back Roderick McDowell, who totaled more than 1,000 yards last season, has also left Clemson for the pro ranks. If new starter Cole Stoudt struggles and the high-octane offense that lit up scoreboards the last few seasons takes a giant leap backward, the Tigers could be susceptible to an upset from the visiting Cardinals. Clemson conceivably could have three losses heading into this game, and if that is the case, the Cardinals could take advantage.

NC State, coming off a winless ACC campaign in Dave Doeren’s first season, do not appear to be much of a threat. It is a divisional game, though, and the Cardinals cannot look ahead to Florida State, which they host for a prime time Thursday night game.

The Seminoles are in position to run the table again in 2014 en route to consecutive national championships, and few are looking at this game as one that could trip up Florida State. The Cardinals will have 11 days to prepare for the game (as do the Seminoles) and predicting Thursday night games is always a crapshoot, especially with a home underdog. Petrino, personal opinions aside, is one of the better coaches in the country, and it would be foolish to count him out four months before the game is played.

If the Cardinals beat Florida State, it could set up some interesting scenarios in the division, especially if Clemson beats Louisville and Florida State takes care of the Tigers in Tallahassee in September. The rest of the Cardinals' conference schedule is very manageable.

Few expect Louisville to make noise in the conference during its inaugural season, but perceptions could change quickly with a road win at Clemson to start this three-game stretch.

Toughest stretch: Georgia Tech

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13
9:00
AM ET
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

Georgia Tech

Toughest stretch: Nov. 8-29 (at NC State, Clemson, bye, at Georgia)

Why: Georgia Tech's 2014 schedule made this one a rather difficult choice, especially with the Yellow Jackets playing six road games. There is a not-so-friendly stretch from Sept. 20 to Oct. 11, when they travel to Virginia Tech and get a bye before hosting Miami and then defending Coastal Division champion Duke. There is another stretch that starts with that Oct. 11 date with the Blue Devils, as Georgia Tech then travels to play fellow division foes North Carolina and Pitt. Ultimately, however, the Yellow Jackets' final three-game stretch of the season takes the prize.

The Nov. 8 trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, will feature an improved NC State team looking to make a bowl game in its second year of the Dave Doeren era, a game that Georgia Tech needs to win but one that won't be easy, especially given the scare a subpar Wolfpack squad gave Clemson last year. (And, of course, given the stunner it pulled over Florida State a year earlier.) Then comes Clemson, which, despite key personnel losses at the skill positions from last year, enters 2014 with its eyes on an ACC title. Clemson will have one of the best defensive lines in the nation, one certainly up to the task of defending the triple-option offense — especially since this game is sandwiched between a favorable stretch for the Tigers, who face Wake Forest the week before and Georgia State a week later.

Then, of course, comes a trip to Athens, Georgia, to face the Bulldogs in the annual rivalry game. Georgia is another team aiming for a conference title in 2014 and, given their five straight wins over the Yellow Jackets — and 12 wins in their last 13 tries against them, and a double-overtime road win last year without their starting quarterback — are sure to be a difficult opponent. The Yellow Jackets do benefit from having a bye week to get ready. (Though Georgia's Nov. 22 game against Charleston Southern might as well be a bye, too.)

Georgia Tech does not have an easy road to navigate in 2014, but its early tests look a lot easier when compared to the tough closing stretch.
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

FLORIDA STATE

Toughest stretch: Oct. 18-Nov. 15 (Notre Dame, at Louisville, Virginia, at Miami)

Why: We’ll have a pretty good idea whether Florida State is equipped to defend its national championship during the first month of the season. The Seminoles, who will probably be ranked No. 1 in most preseason polls, open the season against Oklahoma State in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 30. Playing the Pokes in Big 12 country figures to be a tough nonconference test, to go along with the Nov. 29 finale against rival Florida at Doak Campbell Stadium.

[+] EnlargeEverett Golson
Joel Auerbach/Getty ImagesEverett Golson returns to lead Notre Dame into Tallahassee on Oct. 18.
But FSU’s most difficult stretch of the season won’t come until midseason, beginning when Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee on Oct. 18 for yet another demanding nonconference game. The Fighting Irish, who will welcome back quarterback Everett Golson from a season-long academic suspension, haven’t played at Doak Campbell Stadium since 2002. FSU is 5-2 against the Irish, including a Champs Sports Bowl victory in 2011.

After playing Notre Dame, the Seminoles will have 12 days to prepare for an Oct. 30 trip to Louisville for a Thursday night game. The Cardinals, who will be playing in their first season in the ACC, probably won’t be as good as they were last season, when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was still around. But new coach Bobby Petrino has a penchant for getting the most out of his offense, so the Seminoles can’t overlook a road game, which has tripped them up in the past.

After a Nov. 8 home game against Virginia, the Seminoles play at rival Miami on Nov. 15. The Hurricanes gave Florida State one of its toughest games of the season last year. Well, none of FSU’s games were very close until it played Auburn in the BCS National Championship. But the Hurricanes actually stayed within striking distance until FSU’s Devonta Freeman scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 3:41 left in the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 35-14 lead. FSU ran away with a 41-14 win over the No. 7 Hurricanes.

Toughest stretch: Duke

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
9:00
AM ET
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

Duke

Toughest stretch: Nov. 8-20 (at Syracuse, Virginia Tech, North Carolina)

Why: Duke needs to finish strong. It failed to do so in 2012, losing five straight. In 2013, however, the Blue Devils won their final eight regular season games to win the Coastal Division crown. Duke needs to do the same in this stretch in 2014 as their opponents get tougher in the season's final month. This stretch, at least, offers them the benefit of three straight home games to end the campaign (Duke closes against Wake Forest on Nov. 29).

Two of those eight Duke wins down the stretch last season came with strong defensive performances on the road at Virginia Tech and North Carolina, both of whom will travel to Durham this year in games that are just five days apart from each other. Each squad will enter 2014 in much the way Duke will -- with every reason to think that it will be the one representing the division in the ACC title game. The Tar Heels are coming off a big finish to 2013 and the Hokies are looking to rebound from consecutive underwhelming campaigns. Further complicating matters is Syracuse, another upstart ACC squad that punctuated its inaugural season in the league last year with a bowl victory.

All three of these teams finished with seven or more wins, and there is a good chance that all three teams will be improved this season, even if their final records might not indicate that. With all three opponents taking on Duke within a 13-day span in the dog days of November, this is a challenge even greater than the one the Blue Devils were tasked with during their surprise run in 2013, and one that could very well determine if they can successfully defend their division crown.

Toughest stretch: Clemson

June, 10, 2014
Jun 10
9:00
AM ET
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming season.

CLEMSON

Toughest stretch: Aug. 30-Sept. 27 (at Georgia, South Carolina State, at Florida State, North Carolina)

Why: Last season, Clemson upset then-No. 5 Georgia 38-35 in its opener at Death Valley, a victory that propelled the Tigers to a 6-0 start and No. 3 national ranking. The Tigers finished 11-2 and played in a BCS bowl game for the second time in three seasons under coach Dabo Swinney, beating Ohio State 40-35 in the Discover Orange Bowl.

This coming season, the Tigers will have another chance to make an opening-night statement when they play Georgia, this time between the hedges at Sanford Stadium on Aug. 30. Beating UGA on the road might be even more difficult, especially without departed quarterback Tajh Boyd and star receivers Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant.

[+] EnlargeCole Stoudt
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsCole Stoudt's first month as Clemson's starting quarterback should be challenging.
If things don’t go right against Georgia on the road, will the Tigers have enough leadership on offense to keep things intact? Senior Cole Stoudt, who threw 59 passes as a backup last season, is expected to start the season under center. Sure, the Tigers get FCS foe South Carolina State at home on Sept. 6, but then they play at defending BCS national champion Florida State on Sept. 20 and at home against North Carolina on Sept. 27.

The Seminoles blasted the Tigers at Memorial Stadium last season, handing them an ugly 51-14 defeat, one of the worst losses in Clemson history. The Seminoles led 17-0 after the first quarter and scored more points than any other opponent ever had at Death Valley. Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is back after throwing for 444 yards with three touchdowns and one interception against Clemson last season.

The Tar Heels are expected to be among the ACC’s most improved teams this season after winning six of their last seven games to finish 7-6 in 2013. After a dreadful 1-5 start a year ago, the Tar Heels finally seemed to figure out coach Larry Fedora’s spread offense. Of course, UNC still has a long way to go on defense after surrendering 24.5 points per game last season.

The good news for Clemson: It plays an FCS foe a week after facing Georgia and then gets a bye week before playing FSU. Regardless, it’s still the Tigers’ toughest stretch of the season.
Not all schedules are created equal. That's life in college football. Each slate does, however, present its own set of challenges. Here, we take a look at the toughest stretches that each ACC team will face in 2014, periods that could help determine their fate in the upcoming campaign.

BOSTON COLLEGE
Toughest stretch: Nov. 1-22 (at Virginia Tech, Louisville, bye, at Florida State)
Why: If Boston College wants to duplicate its success from Year 1 of the Steve Addazio era, it will probably do itself a big favor by getting off to a fast start. The Eagles, coming off a 7-6 debut campaign under Addazio, experienced one of the most surprising turnarounds in the nation last season, more than tripling their win total from 2012 en route to a bowl game. The challenge will only get tougher this fall, however, especially with the number of key personnel losses at the skill positions on offense.

An early-season rematch with USC, this time at home, highlights the nonconference portion of the Eagles' slate. But the toughest three-game stretch will likely come during the season's final month, as BC travels to Virginia Tech, hosts Louisville and heads down to Florida State before closing the regular season at home against former Big East foe Syracuse.

Last season's win over the Hokies was the defining moment of BC's season, as it pulled off the major upset at home. Things will only get tougher on the road, especially with the Hokies -- like seemingly everyone else in the Coastal Division -- expected to contend for the division title entering the season's final month. The Cardinals, meanwhile, present a new annual challenge for the Eagles, who welcome in one more roadblock toward the top of the Atlantic Division. Who knows what kind of shape Louisville will be in a new league with a new staff, but recent history says this one will be no easy task for BC, especially with the game sandwiched between Virginia Tech and Florida State. It should go without saying that the matchup in Tallahassee will be a tough task for the Eagles, who sneaked up on the Seminoles last season and gave them their best test from anyone not named Auburn, falling 48-34.

A bye the week before the FSU contest, on Nov. 15, cannot come at a better time. But it does little to lessen the difficulty of the task at hand for BC as it enters the final month of its second season under Addazio.

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