Early thoughts: FSU’s 2021 football schedule is set

Florida State’s 2021 football schedule was released on Thursday morning. Here’s hoping for no postponements or cancellations.

The Seminoles will open with a national TV game on the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend against Notre Dame. It’s the first time Notre Dame has visited Tallahassee since 2014. On a short week, FSU will play host to FCS program Jacksonville State on Sept. 11.

FSU is back to its usual schedule against Atlantic Division teams as well as facing Coastal crossover opponents Miami (in Tallahassee) and North Carolina (in Chapel Hill).

The Florida game is slated for Nov. 27. FSU and Florida agreed to keep the game at Gainesville to preserve the alignment of future schedules in the coming years, including FSU administrators’ desire to have multiple premium home games at Doak Campbell Stadium each season.

“We are excited about the 2021 football season, and the announcement of the upcoming schedule sets a lot of wheels in motion,” FSU athletics director David Coburn said. “I know our coaches and players are glad to know what the season will look like, not to mention our Seminole Boosters and fans who can begin making their plans.”

Here’s the full schedule:

Sept. 5 – Notre Dame

Sept. 11 – Jacksonville State

Sept. 18 – at Wake Forest

Sept. 25 – Louisville

Oct. 2 – Syracuse (family weekend)

Oct. 9 – at North Carolina

Oct. 23 – UMass (homecoming)

Oct. 30 – at Clemson

Nov. 6 – NC State

Nov. 13 – Miami

Nov. 20 – at Boston College

Nov. 27 – at Florida

Some early thoughts

The schedule seems to set up well for coach Mike Norvell in Year 2. FSU will face a Notre Dame team that should be top 15 but will also be breaking in a new quarterback as well as a chunk of an offensive line that was loaded with pre-NFL majors. While they are led by coaches who are widely respected around the ACC, Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse aren’t exactly a murderer’s row.

All of those first five games are winnable. Norvell will look to instill confidence in the roster, one that features plenty of new faces as well as young players who earned playing time in 2020. How will those new faces blend with the veterans as well as the influx of transfer talent? Stacking wins early will be essential if FSU wants to build for the second half of 2021.

FSU gets to play at North Carolina, and it goes without saying that Sam Howell will be out for revenge on Oct. 9. While the game isn’t exciting, FSU will see an old face in Walt Bell when he brings in UMass on Oct. 23. The Seminoles close out October with a road trip to Clemson, which will very much have a new look without Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.

The last five games are brutal. And it’s tough to have all three rivalry games (Clemson, Miami and Florida) jammed into a stretch of less than 30 days. FSU didn’t have back-to-back road games until BC and UF to close the regular season, and the Seminoles will face a BC team that is on the rise as well as a Gators team that should look quite different without Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and others.


Season tickets go on sale on Monday. Click here for more information or call the FSU ticket office at 888-644-1830.

Printable schedule

For the ACC’s team-by-team schedules in PDF format, click here.

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