Football schedule finally announced

After a lengthy delay due to the West Virginia fiasco, Florida State finally released its football schedule for the upcoming 2012 campaign. One big highlight is a Thursday night affair on the road at Virginia Tech.

The 2012 Florida State football schedule features five opponents that made bowl appearances in 2011, including a home date with Orange Bowl participant Clemson, a road game at Sugar Bowl participant Virginia Tech and the regular-season home finale with rival Florida.

The Atlantic Coast Conference released the league schedule Monday, which features the Seminoles heading to Blacksburg for an ESPN Thursday night game against the Hokies.

"After what was a difficult process, we are happy to finally begin to look forward to the 2012 football season," said Director of Athletics Randy Spetman. "We appreciate the patience our fans have shown as we worked with the ACC to put together the football schedule for the upcoming season. We are excited about what the season has in store for our team and for our fans. We look forward to seeing Doak Campbell full of Seminole fans in 2012."

The Seminoles open the season with four consecutive home games. FSU opens its 2012 campaign with Murray State on Sept. 1 on Varsity/Hall of Fame Weekend before facing Savannah State on Sept. 8. The chase for the Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division title begins early with a home game against Wake Forest on Sept. 15, followed by a much-anticipated matchup with defending Atlantic Division Champion Clemson on Sept. 22.

FSU has dedicated the Saturday game against Savannah State as Youth Day, while the first home ACC game against the Demon Deacons will be Military Appreciation Day at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"I think we have a great schedule," FSU head football coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We have some great opponents at home in Doak Campbell and some top quality opponents on the road that's going to be very challenging. Throughout the year, this conference provides some of the best play in college football, as we have produced as many NFL players as any conference in America over the last decade. It's going to be a very challenging schedule against some of the best players in the country, and I'm looking forward to it."

FSU follows its homestand by hitting the road for back-to-back games.

The Seminoles head down Interstate 75 to face USF at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 29. The first ACC road game takes Florida State to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Oct. 6 to play an NC State team that won four of its last five games after falling to FSU 31-0 last season.

After a home game with Boston College on Oct. 13 during Parent's Weekend, FSU takes to the road for a usual October meeting with in-state rival Miami in Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. It'll be the 23rd time that the two teams have met in the month of October.

Florida State then faces Duke for Homecoming on Oct. 27 before an open week. The Seminoles and Hokies square off in a primetime Thursday night game on ESPN on Nov. 8. Virginia Tech defeated Florida State 44-33 in the 2010 Dr. Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship, but FSU still leads the series 22-12, which includes winning 13 of the last 15 meetings.

The Seminoles will have nine days to prepare for their final regular-season road trip at Maryland on Nov. 17.

FSU wraps up the regular season against in-state rival Florida at home Nov. 24. The Seminoles will be looking to win their third straight in the series against the Gators for the first time since winning three in a row from 1998-2000.

The Dr. Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game returns to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2012 and will be played on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Bank of America Stadium.

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