It’s a new year and with that comes a new Florida State football team. Last season, the Seminoles finished with a 10-3 record, a solid accomplishment for such a young team. However, with 17 starters returning next year, including every offensive starter, expectations have already been raised for the Noles.
There is still a long time till games are actually played, but today the 2016 football schedule was released. Last season the Seminoles were on the road for their toughest games and had several early kickoff home games. The exact times for each matchup have not been released, but with this many marquee matchups you can expect several primetime games.
FSU vs. Ole Miss:
Monday, September 5 (Labor Day) (Orlando, FL)
The Seminoles will start off next year with a big test against SEC foe Ole Miss. The Rebels lose several key players from last year’s team, but return starting quarterback Chad Kelly. This game will be played at a neutral site in Orlando, but look for FSU to have home field advantage.
FSU vs. Charleston Southern:
Saturday, September 10 (Home)
FSU’s first home game of the year will against a team that they should easily defeat. This game is perfectly placed before a tough road test the following week.
FSU @ Louisville:
Saturday, September 17 (Away)
After starting off slow against Louisville at home last year, this season FSU must get off to a fast start in their first true road game of the season. Louisville returns starting quarterback Lamar Jackson and several impact defenders. Two years ago, Florida State fell behind by 21 points to the Cardinals so the Noles know the potency of their opponent.
FSU @ South Florida:
Saturday, September 24 (Away)
Even though this is a road game, the Tampa area is host to a numerous amount of FSU fans so expect the crowd to be evenly split. USF challenged the Seminoles last year and went on to win eight games. If FSU comes out focused they should put away USF, but this could be a potential trap.
FSU vs. North Carolina:
Saturday, October 1 (Home)
This is a must see game. Not only because the Tar Heels are coming off an 11-1 season, but also because it is rare for UNC to travel down to play in Tallahassee (once every twelve years). This will be a very interesting game as UNC competed quite well with the likes of Clemson last year.
FSU @ Miami:
Saturday, October 8 (Away)
Road Trip! After facing UNC the prior week, FSU will take on the rival Miami Hurricanes in Sun Life Stadium. New Miami head coach Mark Richt adds a new dynamic to this rivalry and with quarterback Brad Kaaya returning, this could be a very interesting game. Florida State has won six straight games against Miami and a win here will tie the longest win streak in the series.
FSU vs. Wake Forest:
Saturday, October 15 (Home)
Wake Forest played FSU close last season, but look for FSU to come out stronger this year against the Demon Deacs. Barring a serious let down after the Miami game, this should be a victory for the Noles.
Saturday, October 22
FSU vs. Clemson:
Saturday, October 29 (Home)
This could be the defacto ACC Championship. After losing to Alabama in the National Championship game, quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers will roll into Tallahassee looking to prove that last year was not a fluke season. Florida State went into Death Valley last year and only lost by ten. They must come out focused and hungry so that they can return the favor this year. Having the bye week before this game is huge for FSU as it gives them more time to prepare. This will be a sold out game, a potential College GameDay location so make sure and claim your tickets early.
FSU @ North Carolina State:
Saturday, November 5
For years NC State has been a trap game for FSU, and this season is no different. Coming off of the Clemson game, FSU must quickly get over any remaining emotions and focus on the Wolfpack. NC State returns 14 starters, though they lose quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Coach Jimbo Fisher must have his team ready for this game.
FSU vs. Boston College
Friday, November 11 (Home)
This game will be played on Veterans Day (a holiday for FSU, no classes). This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Veterans in our community in the setting of college football. Boston College gave FSU issues last season, and they return multiple starters on defense. FSU still should be able to dominate Boston College’s offense, but scoring for the Noles may be an issue.
FSU @ Syracuse:
Saturday, November 19 (Away)
Syracuse returns several starters from last year’s team, and the Orange will look to rebound from their blowout loss last season. This isn’t the typical end of the season cupcake game, and FSU will have to come ready for this road trip.
FSU vs. Florida:
Saturday, November 26
One of the best rivalries in college football will take place right after Thanksgiving at Doak Campbell Stadium. Expect many students to remain on campus during Thanksgiving Break as Tallahassee will be packed with people ready to see this rivalry game. Florida lost 27-2 at home to FSU last season and could barely muster any offense. Gators quarterback Treon Harris may start again this season, but newcomers Luke Del Rio or Felipe Franks may challenge him. With this being the final home game of the season, and a rivalry, a lot of emotions will be on the field. Expect yet another sellout crowd for this matchup and plenty of nerves as FSU may be a potential playoff contender at this point.
ACC Championship Game:
Saturday, December 3
Last year FSU missed out on making the ACC Championship Game. With Clemson at home this year, the Seminoles may have a shot at returning to the height of the ACC.