Overall I think we got so royally hosed last year that this schedule is eminently more reasonable. One thing to remember from last season is that we were a horrible road team (other than playing VTech). The home crowd really made a difference I think against Auburn, FSU and Wake where if we aren't at home I don't think we come back. We were not great when playing Maryland, USC, NC State, and WV away from home.
So I am most interested in how we play on the road this year. How do we
play in a dome against Auburn (is that effectively an away game?)? FSU
seems tough but we did play well the last time at Doak losing on the
most ridiculous FG I have ever personally seen, but the D-line was stout
then too. BC shouldn't be a problem but new coordinators (and losing in
Chestnut before when we shouldn't have) always leaves me more cautiously optimistic than confident. We are at Wake with a 4 day turnaround on a Thurs. which should feel like a home game (and I hope we really make a push to fill that stadium with orange this year especially) but Wake has always been pesky. Not sure what to make of their team this year either.
*On an important side note, the admin has now agreed to Thursday night games?? I hope an intrepid reporter finds out if this is Dabo's doing or not. If that is true he is really becoming able to lobby the admin which I think is an overall good thing. I've never been a huge fan of Thurs night games but the excuse of it putting too much strain on students always sounded a little contrived. I do like the idea of the admin being pushed further to support athletics however.
So Wake will be tough but they have the same schedule as us with a 4 day turnaround, which is very fair. This is one I will expect to win but will be on pins and needles. I still remember needing the heroics of the late, great Gaines Adams to pull out a win on a blocked kick return, so I am not comfortable up there. Then we get Duke on the road which should be a win and is a great team to have to play on the road. However it took an insane comeback to beat an equally pathetic, if not more pathetic Maryland team last year. Then we end the season with three at home.
Our OOC schedule is nice this year with GT and VT at home and Duke on the road. Next year our OOC schedule should get even easier with VT coming off and adding Syracuse for an SEC team (but I am still hoping we get 8 conference games and lose GT as a natural rival just bc I hate the team needing to prep for the triple option every year and PJ is so smug when he wins). If we could do last years schedule then we can certainly do this years. I like that NC State is later in the year, so as to remind us of how we got complacent towards the end of last year. If we get through Auburn and FSU and can take care of home games and lesser opponents on the road then the season could be pretty special...
If only we had an O-line...and hopefully a D-line, we just might be able to run the table...
(and so it begins...)