Florida State Football Schedule: 2014 Preview

Florida State: 2014 Schedule Preview

Jamies Winston, Florida State Spring Game
Melina Vastola - USATODAY Sports

As the eventual national champions, the Florida State Seminoles cruised through their schedule in 2013, rarely being challenged until reaching the BCS Title Game against Auburn. But if FSU expects to repeat as national champs, the road to get there may not be quite as easy. Here’s a rundown of the Seminoles' schedule in 2014 and the challenges that lie ahead for Jimbo Fisher’s team.

Aug. 30: vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Arlington)

Oklahoma State football
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Aug. 30: vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Arlington)

Oklahoma State football
Kevin Jairaj - USATODAY Sports

The season will start in Arlington where the Seminoles hope it will end with the national championship game. FSU will undoubtedly be the favorite on opening night, but the Cowboys are coming off a 10-win season and have the offensive firepower that will test a defense that lost several key players from last year They have a chance to keep up with Jameis Winston and company, which should keep this game interesting.

Sept. 6: vs. The Citadel

jameis winston florida state seminoles - Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola - USATODAY Sports

Sept. 6: vs. The Citadel

jameis winston florida state seminoles - Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola - USATODAY Sports

After a primetime matchup the first week, the Seminoles will be able to breathe a bit in Week 2. FSU should be scoring early and often in this one, as the backups should get a majority of the playing time in this game.

Sept. 20: vs. Clemson

The Clemson Tigers' high powered offense was rendered useless against Florida State's athletic defense.
Joshua S. Kelly - USATODAY Sports

Sept. 20: vs. Clemson

The Clemson Tigers' high powered offense was rendered useless against Florida State's athletic defense.
Joshua S. Kelly - USATODAY Sports

The Tigers have the best chance in the ACC Atlantic Division of taking down the Seminoles, but that could be tough to do this early in the season, especially in Tallahassee. Clemson has to replace Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martavious Bryant on offense, and that will make it tough to keep pace with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Sept. 27: at North Carolina State

Florida State
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Sept. 27: at North Carolina State

Florida State
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NC State was winless in the conference last season, so they're far away from being on FSU's level. Quarterback and Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett should help, but even on the road this is a game that the Seminoles will be expected to win easily.

Oct. 4: vs. Wake Forest

NCAA Football: Florida State at Wake Forest
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Oct. 4: vs. Wake Forest

NCAA Football: Florida State at Wake Forest
Jeremy Brevard

With a new head coach, Wake Forest could be in for a long season, and when they head to Tallahassee they could be in for a long afternoon. The Demon Deacons couldn't hang with the Seminoles last season, and it should be the same again this year.

Oct. 11: at Syracuse

Syracuse football
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Oct. 11: at Syracuse

Syracuse football
Rich Barnes - USATODAY Sports

FSU handled the Orange last year, but this could be a bit of a trap game for the Seminoles on the road as Syracuse is the kind of team that can take advantage of that. It's been 10 years since Florida State's last trip to the Carrier Dome, and in recent years, quarterbacks like Geno Smith and Teddy Bridgewater have suffered defeats there. So if Jameis Winston and company aren't sharp, this could be a tricky road game for them.

Oct. 18: vs. Notre Dame

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Oct. 18: vs. Notre Dame

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This is when FSU's schedule starts to get interesting, with the Fighting Irish visiting Tallahassee. There's a realistic chance that both teams will be undefeated coming in and that both quarterbacks will be in the middle of the Heisman conversation. This should be a primetime game, and even though it's not in conference, this could be one of FSU's most important games of the season if Brian Kelly has the Irish reclaiming their 2012 form.

Oct. 30: at Louisville

Bobby Petrino Louisville Cardinals football
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Oct. 30: at Louisville

Bobby Petrino Louisville Cardinals football
Jamie Rhodes - USATODAY Sports

It's not just Clemson anymore; Louisville is now giving FSU tough competition within the ACC Atlantic Division. The Noles will have a bye week after Notre Dame, but they'll still have to head to Louisville on a Thursday night, which could create a raucous environment for them to play in. Bobby Petrino will put a team on the field that's ready to compete with Florida State.

Nov. 8: vs. Virginia

Florida State v Boston College
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Nov. 8: vs. Virginia

Florida State v Boston College
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For Florida State's seniors, this should be a revenge game after they lost to Virginia in 2011. For the rest of the team, it should be a chance to breathe easy before the stretch run. The Cavs were winless in the league last year and will have a hard time competing with the Seminoles, giving FSU an easy home win before the schedule starts to pick up again.

Nov. 15: at Miami

The Hurricanes' valiant efforts weren't enough to overcome Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Melina Vastola - USATODAY Sports

Nov. 15: at Miami

The Hurricanes' valiant efforts weren't enough to overcome Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Melina Vastola - USATODAY Sports

FSU powered past Miami last year, but Al Golden is one year deeper into the rebuilding process and the Noles will have to travel down to Miami to play a Hurricanes team that looks quite formidable. These two teams do not like each other, and if FSU is still in contention for a playoff spot at this point in the season, you can bet the Hurricanes will come out swinging with the hope of knocking them out of the playoff race.

Nov. 22: vs. Boston College

Boston College Football 2014 Season Preview
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Nov. 22: vs. Boston College

Boston College Football 2014 Season Preview
Greg M. Cooper - USATODAY Sports

The Eagles were more competitive with FSU last year than most teams the Seminoles played, but Florida State should have a little easier time this year, assuming they're not looking ahead towards their season finale with Florida. Boston College is likely to take a step back this season, so there's every chance that they take their lumps when they head down to Tallahassee.

Nov. 29: vs. Florida

Jameis
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Nov. 29: vs. Florida

Jameis
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

This could be Florida State's toughest game of the season, especially if their instate rivals are in position to knock them out of a playoff spot. If the Gators stay healthy, they could have a defense that can compete with Jameis Winston and the FSU offense the way few teams are able to, and that could make for a compelling rivalry game that could have major implications nationally.

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