Last year, Duke announced its 2020 schedule in January only for it to be adjusted multiple times before the season actually began due to the ever-changing sports landscape caused by COVID-19.
The team will hope its 2021 slate, released Thursday morning, will stay according to plan.
While the Blue Devils faced daunting opening foes in Alabama and Notre Dame over the past two seasons, they should have a slightly easier time on opening weekend this time around at Charlotte Sept. 4. Duke defeated the 49ers 53-19 this past Halloween for one of its two wins on the season.
Head coach David Cutcliffe and his squad will then return to Durham for three consecutive home games against North Carolina A&T, Northwestern and Kansas to close out the Blue Devils' nonconference slate. North Carolina A&T will be playing an abbreviated season this spring after not playing in the fall, while Northwestern and Kansas finished the 2020 campaign 7-2 and 0-9, respectively.
Duke begins its ACC slate at North Carolina Oct. 2, followed by a home date with Georgia Tech and a road trip to Virginia. The Blue Devils' bye will be the week of Oct. 23 before they close out the regular season at Wake Forest, home against Pittsburgh, at Virginia Tech, and home against Louisville and Miami. The matchup against Louisville be on a Thursday.
The ACC added that it will return to two divisions this upcoming season, and that the return to a "traditional schedule" of four nonconference games and eight conference matchups "is contingent on national, state and local health guidelines allowing such competition to occur."
Furthermore, Notre Dame will return to independent status after spending the 2020 season as part of the ACC, though the Fighting Irish will stay play five games against ACC foes in 2021.
The full schedule:
Sept. 4 at Charlotte
Sept. 11 vs. North Carolina A&T
Sept. 18 vs. Northwestern
Sept. 25 vs. Kansas
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Oct. 2 at North Carolina
Oct. 9 vs. Georgia Tech
Oct. 16 at Virginia
Oct. 30 at Wake Forest
Nov. 6 vs. Pittsburgh
Nov. 13 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 18 vs. Louisville
Nov. 27 vs. Miami