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The focus may be on closing out this year’s recruiting class strong with National Signing Day looming, but that’s not the only thing for Syracuse fans to start talking about as the University released the 2015 football schedule this morning. Syracuse will play a strong overall slate in 2015, but the schedule is certainly set up for the Orange to gain some momentum heading into the second half of the season as they look to bounce back from a 3-9 mark in 2014.

Syracuse opens with four straight home games, kicking off the season against Rhode Island on September 5 before taking on Wake Forest in week two. Another winnable game follows with Central Michigan, meaning that there’s a very realistic chance that the Orange could be 3-0 heading into a showdown in the Dome against Les Miles and his LSU Tigers on September 26.

A bye week follows the LSU game, with the team’s last non-conference game coming on October 10 against South Florida, before diving into the meat of the ACC schedule. The schedule is backloaded with tough road games, including trips to Florida State, Louisville, and Boston College. The Orange get Clemson at home this season after heading to Death Valley last year.

Here’s the complete schedule, along with last year’s final record for each opponent:

9/5 vs Rhode Island (2014: 1-11)

9/12 vs Wake Forest (2014: 3-9)

9/19 vs Central Michigan (2014: 7-6)

9/26 vs LSU (2014: 8-5)

10/3 OPEN

10/10 @ South Florida (2014: 4-8)

10/17 @ Virginia (2014: 5-7)

10/24 vs Pittsburgh (2014: 6-7)

10/31 @ Florida State (2014: 13-1)

11/7 @ Louisville (2014: 9-4)

11/14 vs Clemson (2014: 10-3)

11/21 @ NC State (2014: 8-5)

11/28 @ Boston College (2014: 7-6)

It’s going to be crucial for the Orange to get off to a strong start, because after the Virginia game on October 17, they won’t face a team that didn’t reach a bowl game in 2014. Yes, even Pitt got to a bowl game last season, losing to Houston and John O’Korn in the Armed Forces Bowl.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish