Quarterback Sam Hartman started nine games as a freshman for Wake Forest. The departure of Jamie Newman, the starter for most of 2019, appears to make Hartman the starter again for next season.

A few takeaways from Wake Forest’s 2020 football schedule, announced today by the ACC:

More Friday nights

Wake Forest plays on fewer Friday nights than last season and doesn’t play in three straight, but the Deacons didn’t dodge the night traditionally reserved for high school football.

The Deacons will play twice on Friday nights: A non-conference game Sept. 11 against Appalachian State, which is coming off a 13-win season and should make for a thrilling rivalry game in the Deacons’ home opener, and Wake Forest will host Miami on Oct. 9, the Deacons’ first matchup against the Hurricanes since 2013.

Irish in Charlotte

Notre Dame comes back on the ’ schedule, and these teams won’t play again until 2023.

The 2020 game, despite being a Wake Forest home game, will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

A Saturday opener

Wake Forest will do something this season that it’s never done in Coach Dave Clawson’s six previous seasons: Open the season on a Saturday.

Wake Forest’s opener is at Old Dominion on Sept. 5. The Deacons opened on Friday nights in each of the last two seasons and on Thursday nights for the previous five seasons (Jim Grobe’s last season and Clawson’s first four).

The Saturday opener is also the second time in the last three seasons that the Deacons open on the road against a Group of Five conference team. Old Dominion, a member of Conference USA, went 1-11 overall last season and 0-8 in the league.

Late ACC opener

For the second season in a row, Wake Forest’s first four games are its non-conference games. The Deacons’ ACC opener will be an Oct. 3 trip to Duke.

It’s the first time since 1983 that Wake Forest won’t play an ACC game in September.

Halloween in Raleigh

Wake Forest’s trip to N.C. State falls on Halloween, which should only add to what’s usually a raucous college football atmosphere.

The last time the Deacons played a Halloween game was 2009, when they lost 28-27 to No. 18 Miami at home.

Non-middle off week (but close)

Clawson prefers to have the off week in the middle of the schedule, and Wake Forest’s tilts into the back half of the season – but barely.

Wake Forest will play seven games before its off week, which will be the weekend of Oct. 24.

Closing stretch

Three of Wake Forest’s final four games are at home, including a Nov. 21 game against Clemson. That will mark the Tigers’ final ACC game of the season.

The other home games in the final month are against Syracuse (Nov. 7) and Boston College (Nov. 28), with a trip to Louisville on Nov. 14.

The last time Wake Forest played three of its last four games at home was 2016, when the Deacons beat Virginia and then closed with the same final three games: at Louisville and home against Clemson and Boston College. All three of those games were losses in 2016.

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