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Reunions, potential pitfalls highlight the 2018 ACC football schedule

N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb (9) pressures North Carolina quarterback Nathan Elliott (11) as North Carolina's Bentley Spain (75) tries to stop him at Carter-Finley Stadium on Nov. 25, 2017.
N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb (9) pressures North Carolina quarterback Nathan Elliott (11) as North Carolina's Bentley Spain (75) tries to stop him at Carter-Finley Stadium on Nov. 25, 2017. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Highlights, and lowlights, of the 2018 ACC football schedule to ponder as you pass the 224 days until the season kicks off:

Remember me?

Hey, Virginia and N.C. State really are in the same conference. So are Duke and Clemson. Amazing.

The ACC killed off some its original matchups when it expanded in 2004. It only got worse in 2013 when it grew to 14 teams.

But every eight years, some of the old foes get together again, like a family reunion. The Wahoos and Wolfpack meet up for the first time since 2012. That’s also the last time the Blue Devils and Tigers played.

Pleased to meet you

Five years after it joined the league, Syracuse will face North Carolina on the football field.

IMG_IMG_catch_5_1_ORCEUB_24_1_RUCIVUO5_L347857094
UNC's Anthony Ratliff-Williams (17) hauls in a long pass against Duke's Bryon Fields Jr. (14) at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill on Sept. 23, 2017. UNC scored on the next play. Chris Seward cseward@newsobserver.com

Louisville joined the ACC in 2014 and is just now getting around to meeting Georgia Tech.

These are problems the ACC could fix with a rotation schedule but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Check out anytime you want …

… but you can never leave, Jimbo Fisher. Mr. Big Bucks is making it rain at Texas A&M, to the tune of $7.5 million a year, but he couldn’t get away from Clemson.

Dabo Swinney will bring his fully-loaded Clemson squad to College Station on Sept. 8 for an ACC-SEC showdown.

Swinney has won the last three matchups with Fisher.

What about Notre Dame?

The ACC will let the Fighting Irish sample their milk again, without paying for it. Pitt and Florida State travel to South Bend, Ind. while Wake Forest and Virginia Tech get home dates with NBC’s team.

Syracuse gets the luxury of “hosting” Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17, which is unlikely to be thawed out by then.

Tread lightly

West Virginia is the “Power 5” opponent on N.C. State’s nonconference schedule but that opener with James Madison could get sticky.

The Dukes won the 2016 FCS title and finished as the runner-up in 2017.

A trip to Toledo, 20-7 the past two years, for Miami won’t be a picnic, either.

UNC has three tough nonconference games – at Cal, at East Carolina and at home with UCF – to open the season.

Ready for primetime

Wake Forest is featured in half of the four Thursday night games. The Deacs host Boston College on Sept. 13 and go to N.C. State on Nov. 8.

UNC at Miami (Sept. 27) and Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech (Oct. 25) are the other two Thursday night games.

There are five Friday night games on the schedule Georgia Tech at Louisville (Oct. 5), Miami at Boston College (Oct. 26), Pitt at Virginia (Nov. 2), Louisville at Syracuse (Nov. 9) and Virginia at Virginia Tech (Nov. 23).

Yes, please

Miami’s nonconference schedule features a neutral-site opener with LSU (Sept. 2) and reunion with Butch Davis (Sept. 22), who is in his second season at Florida International.

Even Miami’s crossover games, Florida State and Boston College, should be fun. Much will be expected of Mark Richt’s third team after winning its first division title in 2017.

Hard pass

Somewhere Mike London weeps. When he was Virginia’s coach, the Cavaliers routinely played the most difficult nonconference schedule.

Bronco Mendenhall has had some tough games his first two years but this year’s slate out of the ACC – Richmond, Indiana, Ohio and Liberty – is the definition of “blah.”

Pitt, by the way, has the “My Athletic Director Hates Me” special in 2018 with an arduous run against Penn State, Central Florida and Notre Dame. Those three teams went a combined 34-5 last season.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

2018 ACC football schedule

Week 1

Thursday, Aug. 30

Wake Forest at Tulane

Saturday, Sept. 1

Massachusetts at Boston College

Furman at Clemson

Army West Point at Duke

Alcorn State at Georgia Tech

Louisville vs. Alabama (Camping World Kickoff , Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.)

North Carolina at California

James Madison at NC State Albany at Pitt

Syracuse at Western Michigan

Richmond at Virginia

Sunday, Sept. 2

Miami vs. LSU (AdvoCare Classic, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

Monday, Sept. 3 Virginia Tech at Florida State

Week 2

Saturday, Sept. 8

Holy Cross at Boston College

Clemson at Texas A&M

Duke at Northwestern

Samford at Florida State

Georgia Tech at USF

Indiana State at Louisville

Savannah State at Miami

North Carolina at East Carolina

Georgia State at NC State

Penn State at Pitt

Wagner at Syracuse

Virginia at Indiana

William & Mary at Virginia Tech

Towson at Wake Forest

Week 3

Saturday, Sept. 15

Georgia Southern at Clemson

Duke at Baylor

Florida State at Syracuse

Georgia Tech at Pitt

Western Kentucky at Louisville

Miami at Toledo

UCF at North Carolina

West Virginia at NC State

Ohio at Virginia

East Carolina at Virginia Tech

Week 4

Saturday, Sept. 22

Boston College at Purdue

Clemson at Georgia Tech

North Carolina Central at Duke

Northern Illinois at Florida State

Louisville at Virginia

FIU at Miami

Pitt at North Carolina

NC State at Marshall

UConn at Syracuse

Virginia Tech at Old Dominion

Notre Dame at Wake Forest

Week 5

Thursday, Sept. 27

North Carolina at Miami

Saturday, Sept. 29

Temple at Boston College

Syracuse at Clemson

Virginia Tech at Duke

Florida State at Louisville

Bowling Green at Georgia Tech

Virginia at NC State

Pitt at UCF Rice at Wake Forest

Week 6

Friday, Oct. 5

Georgia Tech at Louisville

Saturday, Oct. 6

Boston College at NC State

Clemson at Wake Forest

Florida State at Miami

Syracuse at Pitt

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech

Week 7

Saturday, Oct. 13

Louisville at Boston College

Duke at Georgia Tech

Miami at Virginia

Virginia Tech at North Carolina

Pitt at Notre Dame

Week 8

Saturday, Oct. 20

NC State at Clemson

Virginia at Duke

Wake Forest at Florida State

North Carolina at Syracuse

Week 9

Thursday, Oct. 25

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech

Friday, Oct. 26

Miami at Boston College

Saturday, Oct. 27

Clemson at Florida State

Duke at Pitt

Wake Forest at Louisville

North Carolina at Virginia

NC State at Syracuse

Week 10

Friday, Nov. 2

Pitt at Virginia

Saturday, Nov. 3

Boston College at Virginia Tech

Louisville at Clemson

Duke at Miami

Florida State at NC State

Georgia Tech at North Carolina

Syracuse at Wake Forest

Week 11

Thursday, Nov. 8

Wake Forest at NC State

Friday, Nov. 9

Louisville at Syracuse

Saturday, Nov. 10

Clemson at Boston College

North Carolina at Duke

Florida State at Notre Dame

Miami at Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech at Pitt

Liberty at Virginia

Week 12

Saturday, Nov. 17

Boston College at Florida State

Duke at Clemson

Virginia at Georgia Tech

NC State at Louisville

Miami at Virginia Tech

Western Carolina at North Carolina

Pitt at Wake Forest

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame (Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, N.Y.)

Week 13

Friday, Nov. 23

Virginia at Virginia Tech

Saturday, Nov. 24

Syracuse at Boston College

South Carolina at Clemson

Wake Forest at Duke

Florida at Florida State

Georgia Tech at Georgia

Kentucky at Louisville

Pitt at Miami NC State at North Carolina

ACC Championship game

Saturday, Dec. 1

Atlantic Division champion vs. Coastal Division champion (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.)

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