The ACC and member school’s released the schedules for the upcoming 2016 season today.
The Blue Devils 2016 schedule features six home games, two in the nonconference and the standard four in the ACC.
Duke will open the season on September 3rd with another installment of the Bull City Gridiron Classic against fellow Durham institution North Carolina Central. The Blue Devils will then open up their ACC schedule in week 2, hosting Wake Forest. Duke will follow that up with back to back road games against Northwestern and Notre Dame.
Duke will be a part of two conference games in untraditional time slots. The Blue Devils will visit Louisville on Friday October 14 and then host rival North Carolina on Thursday, November 10th. This game may serve as the national debut of the renovated Wallace Wade Stadium and Blue Devil Tower depending on how the tv schedules shake out for the games earlier in the season. Duke hosted North Carolina on a Thursday night in 2014.
The season will conclude with back to back games on the road against Pitt on November 19th and Miami on November 26th.
It is tough to gauge what kind of expectations fans should have for the Blue Devils in 2016. Duke is expected to improve this season, but the improvements may not be realized in wins and losses. The 2016 schedule is tougher than recent years. Road trips to Northwestern and Notre Dame will be project to be one of the tougher non conference schedules among the Power Five conferences. For their Atlantic Division opponent, Duke will trade out Boston College for a trip to Louisville.
While the overall schedule is tougher, this year there does seem to be quite a bit of balance. The back to back road games against the Wildcats and Irish sit between home games against Wake Forest and Virginia in the first half of the season, while Duke’s toughest ACC games, as it stands today, against Louisville and North Carolina sit in the back half of the schedule. These “upgrades” in the schedule will make victories more difficult, but also will provide a greater payoff if Duke is able to win. As recruiting in the conference continues to improve, as well as the addition of some quality coaches this offseason, predicting the Coastal Division and the ACC will be as difficult as ever.
The 2016 Duke Football Schedule:
Home games in all caps, ACC games in bold.
3 – N.C. CENTRAL
10 – WAKE FOREST
17 – at Northwestern
24 – at Notre Dame
1 – VIRGINIA
8 – ARMY
14 – at Louisville
22 – BYE WEEK
29 – at Georgia Tech
5 – VIRGINIA TECH
10 – NORTH CAROLINA
19 – at Pittsburgh
26 – at Miami
For the full release on the announcement check out GoDuke.com.