In 2014, the Miami Hurricanes got thrown into the furnace by not only playing their first football game on the road, but playing it against a talented Louisville team making its debut in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The ACC released its 2015 composite schedule Thursday, and next season the Canes can breathe a bit before they face their first ACC opponent – defending league champion Florida State on Oct. 10 in Tallahassee.
UM opens Sept. 5 at home against Football Championship Subdivision member Bethune-Cookman (9-3), travels up the road Sept. 12 to FAU (3-9) in Boca Raton, hosts Nebraska (9-4) on Sept. 19 and rests with a bye week Sept. 26.
After their first road game at Cincinnati (9-4) for a Thursday-night, ESPN telecast Oct. 1, the Canes can start really sweating.
Miami (6-7, 3-5 ACC) will meet FSU more than a month earlier than it did this past season. The Seminoles were 13-1 in 2014 after losing to Oregon in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Day.
The Canes will have nine days to prepare for the Seminoles, who defeated them 30-26 Nov. 15 in the final three minutes at Sun Life Stadium.
After FSU there’s Virginia Tech (7-6) on Oct. 17 and Clemson (10-3) on Oct. 24 at home. Then the Canes play at Duke (9-4) on Halloween, return home Nov. 7 for Virginia (5-7) and go to UNC (6-7) on Nov. 14.
The end of the season will be tough, with Orange Bowl champion Georgia Tech (11-3) coming to Sun Life on Nov. 21 and UM finishing the regular season at Pittsburgh (6-7) in the cold on the day after Thanksgiving – Friday, Nov. 27.
UM’s 2015 opponents had a combined 97-58 record in 2014.
Of the teams they will face next season, the Hurricanes lost to Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia and Pittsburgh. They defeated Duke, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
FAU athletic director Pat Chun told the Miami Herald late last year that the three-game series between the teams is part of a “two-for-two’’ contract. “Two games at their place [UM] – in 2013 and 2016 and home [at FAU] in 2015. Part of the deal is there is no change of funds in the contract for the home game at our place in ’15.
“The biggest game in the history of our stadium will be for sure Sept. 12, 2015, and our campus is excited to host our neighbors from the south,’’ Chun said.
Game times have not yet been assigned.
Miami Hurricanes 2015 Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 5 -- Bethune-Cookman.
Saturday, Sept. 12 -- AT FAU.
Saturday, Sept. Sept. 19 -- Nebraska.
BYE WEEK Saturday, Sept. 26
Thursday Oct. 1 -- AT CINCINNATI
Saturday, Oct. 10 -- AT FSU*
Saturday, Oct. 17 -- Virginia Tech*
Saturday, Oct. 24 -- Clemson*
Saturday, Oct. 31 -- AT DUKE*
Saturday, Nov. 7 -- Virginia*
Saturday, Nov. 14 -- AT UNC*
Saturday, Nov. 21 -- Georgia Tech*
Friday, Nov. 27 -- AT PITT*
* ACC game
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN