"The 2004 season will be an interesting and exciting one, particularly with the beginning of our play in the ACC," said Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker. "Our schedule may be the most challenging we've had in several years, starting with the opener against Florida State, nonconference games against 2003 bowl teams Louisville and Houston, and the tough ACC clashes. It presents a tough challenge for us overall, but it's something I know we are looking forward to with great anticipation."
Miami opens the 2004 schedule at home under the lights against Florida State in a special Monday night national telecast on Labor Day, Sept. 6. The Hurricanes and Seminoles will kickoff Miami's play as an ACC school with another edition of one of the nation's top football rivalries as the teams meet for the 49th time. It will mark the teams' third clash in less than a year as the schools faced each other in the 2004 FedEx Orange Bowl Classic in addition to their annual meeting last October in Tallahassee.
After a weekend off on Sept. 11, the Hurricanes host the Louisville Cardinals in a nonconference clash in the Orange Bowl on Thursday night, Sept. 16. The Cardinals went 9-4 in 2003 and received a berth in the GMAC Bowl, losing a shootout to Miami of Ohio in that game. It will be the 10th meeting between Louisville and Miami, but the first since 1985. Miami holds an 8-0-1 lead in the series.
Miami hits the road for the first time in 2004 with a game against the Houston Cougars on Thursday, Sept. 23, in Houston. The Hurricanes and Cougars will meet for the first time since 1991, reviving a series in which Miami holds a 9-7 advantage. The series began in 1957 and the teams met annually from 1969-76 and 1980-83.
After that, seven of Miami's final eight games of the 2004 season will be ACC contests. That stretch begins on Saturday, Oct. 2, with a road contest in Atlanta against Georgia Tech at Grant Field. Miami and Tech have met nine times previously but, other than a 2000 Gator Bowl clash, have not met in the regular season since 1978. Tech holds a 6-3 edge in the series and the trip to Atlanta will mark Miami's first road game as an ACC member.
Following a weekend off on Oct. 9, Miami returns to the Orange Bowl to take on Louisiana Tech on Oct. 16 before beginning a streak of five consecutive Saturday games against ACC opponents beginning with a two-game road swing, visiting North Carolina State on Saturday, Oct. 23, and North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 30.
The Hurricanes have met the Wolfpack of N.C. State 10 times in the past with Miami holding a 6-3-1 edge in the series, but the meeting in Raleigh will be the first regular season matchup since 1982. The teams last met in the 1998 MicronPC Bowl in Miami (a 46-23 UM victory), but the Wolfpack have been one of the nation's top teams the last three seasons, having capped the 2003 season with a dominant performance against Kansas in the Tangerine Bowl. The Hurricanes' trip to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina will renew a series in which UNC holds a 4-3 lead. Miami and North Carolina met frequently from 1946-63, including games in five of seven years from 1957-63.
The Hurricanes return to the Orange Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 6, to host the Clemson Tigers. Clemson had a resurgent season in 2003, winning nine games and taking a Peach Bowl victory over Tennessee. The Hurricanes and the Tigers have met five times before with Miami holding a 4-1 series lead, but the teams have not played since a 21-0 UM victory in 1956 at Miami. Miami returns to the road on Saturday, Nov. 13, for a trip to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. The game will mark only the second meeting between UM and Virginia, the only previous contest being a 31-21 UM victory in the 1996 Carquest Bowl in Miami. Virginia is coming off a successful 2003 season that was capped by a 23-16 victory over Pittsburgh in the Continental Tire Bowl.
Miami returns home on Saturday, Nov. 20, for a clash with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons and Hurricanes will meet for the seventh time, but the first time since 1971, with the series tied at 3-3. After a weekend off on Saturday, Nov. 27, Miami closes the 2004 regular season on Dec. 4 against Virginia Tech at the Orange Bowl, a game that figures to be a crucial one between the ACC's two newest members and a pair of perennial national powers.
The eight bowl teams from 2003 on Miami's schedule are: Florida State (Orange Bowl), Louisville (GMAC Bowl winner), Houston (Hawaii Bowl), Georgia Tech (Humanitarian Bowl winner), North Carolina State (Tangerine Bowl winner), Clemson (Peach Bowl winner), Virginia (Continental Tire Bowl winner) and Virginia Tech (Insight Bowl).
Miami garnered an 11-2 season in 2003 and advanced to its fourth consecutive Bowl Championship Series Game, defeating Florida State in the FedEx Orange Bowl Classic. The Hurricanes won their eighth BIG EAST Conference title in 2003, running their winning streak of conference championships to four in a row before entering a new era in the ACC.
Day/Date Opponent (2003 Record) TV Mon./Sept. 6 Florida State (10-3) ABC Sat./Sept. 11 Open Date Thurs./Sept. 16 Louisville (9-4) ESPN Thurs./Sept. 23 at Houston (7-6) ESPN Sat./Oct. 2 at Georgia Tech (9-4) Sat./Oct. 9 Open Date Sat./Oct. 16 Louisiana Tech (5-7) Sat./Oct. 23 at North Carolina State (8-5) Sat./Oct. 30 at North Carolina (2-10) Sat./Nov. 6 Clemson (9-4) Sat./Nov. 13 at Virginia (8-5) Sat./Nov. 20 Wake Forest (5-7) Sat./Nov. 27 Open Date Sat./Dec. 4 Virginia Tech (8-5)