The University of Louisville football team will play three of its first five games in the 2016 season on the road, including an Oct. 1 game at national runner-up Clemson. The Cardinals also play Florida State in the third week of the season.
The Cardinals learned their fate on Tuesday as th ACC released the schedule for the '16 season. Louisville finished last season 8-5 after winning the Music City Bowl and will begin the season among the top 25.
Louisville has been ranked in every early preseason top 25, with the highest ranking coming at 16.
But it won't be an easy slate of games.
"“This another challenging schedule overall,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We have six teams who played in bowl games last season and three teams that finished the year ranked in the top 25. We have a lot of work to do before we start playing games, but with an experienced team returning, they understand the challenges ahead of them and know what kind of preparation is needed to be a successful football team.”
Louisville begins the season on either Thursday, Sept. 1 or Saturday, Sept. 3 at home against Charlotte. It's the first meeting between the two programs and a move to Sept. 1 would mean the first Thursday night opener since 2007.
The second game of the season is on the road at Syracuse on Friday, Sept., 9 before Florida State visits Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17. The Seminoles played in Louisville two years ago but it was on a Thursday night.
The FSU game will be the first marquee ACC game at home on a Saturday for the Cardinals.
After traveling to Marshall on Sept. 24, the Cardinals will play at Clemson on Oct. 1. It will be the second trip to Clemson for U of L after the Cardinals lost 23-17 during the 2014 season.
Louisville's next two games - after an open week - will be at home against Duke (Oct. 14) and N.C. State (Oct. 22) before two more on the road. U of L plays at Virginia on Oct. 29 and at Boston College on Nov. 5.
Wake Forest will visit Louisville on Nov. 12 before the Cardinals end the season with two non-confernece games - at Houston on Nov. 19 and against Kentucky on Nov. 26 in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Thur. Sept 1
|Charlotte||Louisville||First ever meeting|
|Fri. Sept 9||Syracuse **||Syracuse, NY||U of L has won two straight against Orange|
|Sat. Sept. 17||Florida State **||Louisville||Cards are 2-14 all-time against Noles|
|Sat. Sept. 24||Marshall||Huntington, WV||First meeting since 2011. Cards lead series 16-12|
|Sat. Oct. 1||Clemson **||Clemson, SC||Last two meetings decided by nine total points|
|Fri. Oct. 14||Duke**||Louisville||Cards won only prior meeting 40-3 in 2002|
|Sat. Oct. 22||NC State **||Louisville||Cards lead all-time series 5-1|
|Sat. Oct. 29||Virginia **||Charlottesville, Va||U of L lost trip to UVA in 2014|
|Sat. Nov. 5||Boston College **||Chestnut Hill, Mass.||Cards lead series 4-3|
|Sat. Nov. 12||Wake Forest **||Louisville||The last two meetings have been decided by 11 points.|
|Sat. Nov. 19||Houston||Houston, Tex.||Overall series tied 8-8|
|Sat. Nov. 26||Kentucky||Louisville||U of L has won five straight meetings|
** ACC Game