The Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday unveiled its league-wide football schedule and, as has been in the works for nearly a month, Florida State will kick off the 2013 season in front of the nation with a Labor Day game Sept. 2 at new conference foe Pittsburgh.
"I am really excited about the 2013 schedule and it will provide great exposure for Florida State and the ACC," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We are excited to open up the season with a great opponent like Pitt and getting to play a new opponent at their venue to welcome them to the ACC. We are looking forward to that."
Florida State will have two byes this season. Sept. 7, the week after the Pittsburgh game, and Sept. 11, a week before the Seminoles travel to Clemson.
Also, for the first time since 2005, the Seminoles will not be playing on a Thursday night. And the schedule doesn't feature any back-to-back road games.
The Monday-night opener at Heinz Field will mark the Seminoles' return to primetime Labor Day action for the first time since 2009 when they opened the year with a home game against Miami. FSU will meet the Panthers for the first time since 1983.
After Pittsburgh, Florida State will host Nevada on Sept. 14. The Wolf Pack had the nation's eighth-ranked offense in 2008, and is led by junior quarterback Cody Fajardo, who finished 10th in the country in total offense per game.
FSU had originally planned to play Wofford this season, but after adjusting the schedule to face Pittsburgh, Wofford was removed from the schedule and replaced with Bethune-Cookman.
The Seminoles and Wildcats will play at Doak Campbell Stadium on Sept. 21.
FSU resumes conference play on Sept. 28 at Boston College, then returns home to play Maryland on Oct. 5.
Another open week precedes FSU's visit to Clemson, S.C., for a matchup with the Tigers that will likely play a key role in the Atlantic Division race.
The Seminoles will then play two straight home games – against N.C. State on Oct. 26 and Miami on Nov. 2. They'll then visit Wake Forest on Nov. 9 before their conference finale, a homecoming game against ACC newcomer Syracuse on Nov. 16.
"We have some great home games," said Fisher, entering his fourth season as FSU's head coach. "There are all big games on the road. I love our home schedule though. It is going to be very challenging but we will be ready to play. I like that the home games are spread out throughout the season. I like the diversity of this schedule. The ACC did a great job. It is a great schedule."
Florida State will play one more home game – against Idaho – before visiting the Florida Gators on Nov. 30. FSU has traditionally played an ACC game the week before playing UF, and Fisher is pleased about the change.
"Having the conference part of our season over heading into the stretch makes it easier for us to get ready for a huge rivalry game against Florida," Fisher said. "It can be tough to play a game before Florida with a conference championship berth on the line. To get that part of our season handled than get a very good team like Idaho before we go into the big rivalry game is a plus."
2013 Seminoles football schedule
Sept. 2 at Pittsburgh (Labor Day)
Sept. 7 Open
Sept. 14 vs. Nevada
Sept. 21 vs. Bethune-Cookman
Sept. 28 at Boston College
Oct. 5 vs. Maryland (Parent's Weekend)
Oct. 12 Open
Oct. 19 at Clemson
Oct. 26 vs. N.C. State
Nov. 2 vs. Miami
Nov. 9 at Wake Forest
Nov. 16 vs. Syracuse (Homecoming)
Nov. 23 vs. Idaho
Nov. 30 at Florida