Clemson’s 2013 football schedule is favorable and includes a twist: a Thursday night home game

File/Mark Crammer/AP Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney said his program is on the “doorstep of greatness” following its win over LSU on Dec. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.



Sept. 14 OPEN

Sept. 19 #at NC State


Oct. 5 at Syracuse



Oct. 26 at Maryland

Nov. 2 at Virginia

Nov. 9 OPEN



Nov. 30 at South Carolina

#=Thursday night ESPN games

Caps=home games

Clemson’s quest to reach “greatness” was aided by quarterback Tajh Boyd’s decision to stay for his senior season, along with offensive coordinator Chad Morris remaining at Clemson. The quest was further helped by its 2013 schedule, which was released Monday,

Clemson can build its resume with its Aug. 31 season opener against Georgia at home, a home date against Florida State on Oct. 19 and a trip to South Carolina on Nov. 30.

All three teams figure to be ranked in the preseason top 15.

While Clemson has several opportunities to impress poll voters, it should be favored against the remainder of its games: S.C. State (Sept. 7), at N.C. State (Sept. 19), Wake Forest (Sept. 28), at Syracuse (Oct. 5), Boston College (Oct. 12), at Maryland (Oct. 26), at Virginia (Nov. 2), Georgia Tech (Nov. 14) and The Citadel (Nov. 23).

Clemson’s game at N.C. State and its home date against Georgia Tech are Thursday night ESPN games. Clemson had been against holding Thursday night games on campus but has reversed policy under new AD Dan Radakovich.

“Having a Thursday night nationally televised home football game on ESPN will be a tremendous positive for the university,” Radakovich said. “As the only football game on television that night, we will have an opportunity to showcase our football and athletics program as well as our university community.

“All of us within the department of athletics understand the complexities of playing host to a Thursday night game and the challenges it presents for many on campus, including professors with afternoon classes. We will work with president Jim Barker, university administrators and the appointed team to make the event a wonderful example of what Clemson University can do.”

Clemson is coming off its first back-to-back, 10-win seasons since the early 1990s.

Said Swinney: “It will be a challenging schedule from top to bottom, with three teams that finished in the top 10 last year, and those teams should be top-10 teams again this year. It will be a challenging ACC season as well. Thursday night games bring great exposure to your program, and I am glad we do not have a quick turnaround (four days to prepare) in either situation.”

Times and television slots have not been announced.

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