Rough-and-tumble schedule awaits Clemson in 2015

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson scores a touchdown against Florida State in the Tigers' 23-17 overtime loss to the Seminoles in Tallahassee, Fla., last season. Florida State will play at Clemson in 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

The ACC released its complete 2015 football schedule Thursday, and it includes a few unique wrinkles for Clemson.

There’s a rare five-day turnaround followed by a 15-day break (the program’s longest layoff during a regular season in 97 years), a Halloween date with a Wolfpack, seven straight games vs. 2014 bowl teams and four of the last six away from home.

The marquee league games include the ACC opener at Louisville Sept. 17, back-to-back physical tests hosting Georgia Tech (Oct. 10) and Boston College (Oct. 17), and the de facto ACC Atlantic Championship game Nov. 7 vs. three-time defending conference titlist Florida State.

For the third straight year, Clemson hits the road for a Thursday nighter — but this year it brings a much more daunting challenge. Both Clemson (vs. Appalachian State) and Louisville (vs. Houston) will have just played their respective second games of the year five days before their clash in Louisville.

Then the Tigers don’t play again until Oct. 3 against Notre Dame, the most time Clemson has prepared for a game in the middle of a regular season since 1918. That opens a three-game homestand followed by the Orange Bowl champion Yellow Jackets (eighth-ranked in the final 2014 AP Poll) and the Golden Eagles.

After a couple of trips to Miami Oct. 24 and N.C. State Oct. 31, Florida State comes to town for what figures to be a monster showdown between the ACC’s premier programs.

Clemson completes its league schedule with a Nov. 14 road game at Syracuse and Senior Day vs. Wake Forest Nov. 21.

“I am always excited to see the schedule for the upcoming season because it allows us to plan our journey for the next season,” head coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. “There is no doubt this will be as challenging a schedule as we have ever had with some great home games and tough games in road venues. We are already preparing for the challenge and can’t wait to get started with spring practice.”

The way the calendar falls in 2015, each team only receives one bye week. Clemson will be busy its final nine weeks of the season consecutively.

As previously announced, the Tigers kick off with Wofford on Sept. 5 and Appalachian State on Sept. 12. Notre Dame visits Oct. 3 for the series’ first renewal in 36 years, and Clemson looks to defend its Palmetto Bowl crown at South Carolina Nov. 28.

The Tigers open spring practices March 2, and the annual Orange-White spring scrimmage is set for April 11.