Hurricanes fans, the 2017 football season might seem far, far away — but that game at nemesis Florida State is closer than you think.
The Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2017 football schedule Tuesday, and the Hurricanes (9-4 in 2016) travel to Tallahassee to play in their ACC opener against the Seminoles on Sept. 16 — the earliest the game has been since the teams opened the 2009 season in Tallahassee on Sept. 7.
And for those UM fans who love to hate Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish will travel to Hard Rock Stadium on Nov. 11 for their first trip to UM since 1989. The Canes have lost four in a row to Notre Dame.
Despite three of their first five games on the road, the Canes appear to have a kinder schedule than in 2016, when a killer October had UM suffer all four of its losses — to FSU, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
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UM opens its season Sept. 2 at home against Bethune-Cookman, then travels to Arkansas State on Sept. 9 before the FSU game.
The Canes host Toledo on Sept. 23 and travel to Durham, North Carolina, to face Duke on Sept. 29 — an unusual Friday game, though UM plays on two Fridays next season.
Miami’s open date is Oct. 7.
After that, UM is home on Oct. 12 for a Thursday-night ESPN matchup against Georgia Tech, one of three ACC nationally televised Thursday night games in 2017. Note that the Yellow Jackets also have off Oct. 7.
UM stays at home against cross-divisional foe Syracuse on Oct. 21, then travels to UNC Oct. 28.
For three of the final four regular-season games, the Hurricanes avoid the prospect of cold-weather conditions, with Virginia Tech playing at Hard Rock on Nov. 4, one week before Notre Dame.
UM stays home again to face Virginia on Nov. 18.
Enter Thanksgiving in usually cold, and sometimes snowy, Pittsburgh.
UM’s regular-season finale is the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 24, at Pitt. It is the fourth time in the past five years that the Canes close out the regular season against the Panthers.
The Seminoles (10-3 in 2016) start their season Sept. 2 against College Football Playoff National Championship runner-up Alabama (14-1) in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a game sure to affect the title race right from the start.
FSU’s next three games are at home — Louisiana Monroe on Sept. 9, the Miami matchup and North Carolina State on Sept. 23. FSU travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Sept. 30 to face Wake Forest.
An Oct. 7 open date will be followed by a road game at Duke Oct. 14, home game Oct. 21 against Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, and road game Friday, Oct. 27, at Boston College.
The Seminoles face Syracuse at home Nov. 4, travel to national champion Clemson on Nov. 11, return home for Delaware State on Nov. 18 and end the regular season in Gainesville on Nov. 25 against Florida.
2017 UM schedule
Sept. 2: Bethune-Cookman
Sept. 9: at Arkansas State
Sept. 16: at Florida State
Sept. 23: Toledo
Sept. 29: at Duke (Friday)
Oct. 7: OPEN
Oct. 12: Georgia Tech (Thursday)
Oct. 21: Syracuse
Oct. 28: at North Carolina
Nov. 4: Virginia Tech
Nov. 11: Notre Dame
Nov. 18: Virginia
Nov. 24: at Pitt (Friday)