ACC schedule release: Clemson football learns 2023 game list

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney holds up the trophy after Clemson defeated North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney holds up the trophy after Clemson defeated North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)


Clemson’s 2023 football schedule is official.

The ACC released the Tigers’ full 12-game schedule Monday night during a two-hour TV special, laying out the path coach Dabo Swinney’s program must traverse to remain in the national conversation next fall.

Clemson, the reigning ACC champion, will play on Labor Day for a second straight year when it opens the 2023 season at Duke on Monday, Sept. 4. Here’s the full schedule, with kickoff times and TV channels to be announced at later dates:

  • Sept. 4 (Mon): at Duke

  • Sept. 9: vs. Charleston Southern

  • Sept. 16: vs. Florida Atlantic

  • Sept. 23: vs. Florida State

  • Sept. 30: at Syracuse

  • Oct. 7: vs. Wake Forest

  • Oct. 14: OPEN

  • Oct. 21: at Miami

  • Oct. 28: at N.C. State

  • Nov. 4: vs. Notre Dame

  • Nov. 11: vs. Georgia Tech

  • Nov. 18: vs. North Carolina

  • Nov. 25: at South Carolina

Clemson is coming off an 11-3 season which featured plenty of highs — an 8-0 record in conference play, a seventh ACC title in eight years — but some notable lows, too.

The Tigers missed a second consecutive College Football Playoff after making six straight from 2015 to 2020 and were 0-3 against non-conference Power Five opponents in 2022.

Those losses to Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee (in the Orange Bowl) underscored some lingering offensive issues and prompted Swinney to fire offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter after one season and replace him with former TCU OC Garrett Riley.

Riley will be tasked with unlocking the full potential of sophomore quarterback Cade Klubnik, a former five-star recruit who replaced DJ Uiagalelei late in the season and — amid some growing pains — flashed undeniable star power against UNC in the ACC title game and Tennessee.

Among other notable returning players for Clemson in 2023: first team All-ACC running back Will Shipley, first team All-ACC defensive tackle Tyler Davis, second team AP All-America linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro, linebacker Barrett Carter and wide receiver Antonio Williams.

The Tigers appeared as high as No. 8 in a survey of 11 outlets’ “way too early” top 25 rankings for 2023 but more frequently fell in the No. 11 to No. 15 range — a drop-off for a program that’s been an AP preseason Top 5 team for seven straight seasons dating back to 2016.

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) throws a pass as Tennessee defensive lineman Roman Harrison (30) closes in during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Rebecca Blackwell AP

No more divisions

The 2023 season will be the ACC’s first under a new divisionless, 3-5-5 scheduling format approved by league athletic directors last June.

That model eliminates the old Atlantic and Coastal Divisions, which had been in place since 2005, and lumps all 14 member schools into one division. The top two teams based on conference winning percentage will compete in the ACC football championship game.

Under the new format, which runs through 2026, Clemson will play Florida State, Georgia Tech and N.C. State annually as its three “primary partners.”

The Tigers will face the conference’s other 10 teams twice apiece during a four-year cycle: once at home and once on the road.

Though the dates aren’t official, those opponents have already been set through 2026. Clemson has known its four ACC home games and four ACC road games for 2023 since last summer.

In 2024, Clemson will play Louisville, Miami, NC State and Virginia in ACC home games and travel to Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech for ACC road games.

Clemson spring game information

Clemson’s annual Orange and White Spring Game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, on ACC Network Extra, the conference announced earlier Monday.

That’ll give fans a first look at the full 2023 roster and a number of early enrollee freshmen from Clemson’s 11th-ranked 2023 signing class including former five-star defensive tackle recruit Peter Woods and former four-star quarterback Christopher Vizzina.

This story was originally published January 30, 2023 7:50 PM.

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Chapel Fowler has covered Clemson football, among other topics, for The State since June 2022. He’s a Denver, N.C., native, a 2020 UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and a pickup basketball enthusiast with previous stops at the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer and Chatham (N.C.) News + Record. His work has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the North Carolina Press Association and the Associated College Press.

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