Despite being conference-mates for seven years, Georgia Tech football will make its first-ever trip to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. • Although Syracuse joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013, by virtue of being in opposite divisions (Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal, Syracuse in the ACC Atlantic), Tech football has not previously made the trip to upstate New York. • The Yellow Jackets and Syracuse have met three previous times on the gridiron. The Jackets have won all three previous matchups, including a 56-0 thrashing of the Orange in their only previous contest as ACC foes on Oct. 19, 2013 at Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. • Georgia Tech is playing in the state of New York for only the third time in its 128-season football history and the first time in 95 years. Tech lost to Penn State, 28-7, in 1921 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, but returned to Gotham in 1925 to defeat the Nittany Lions, 16-7, at Yankee Stadium. • The Yellow Jackets enter Saturday’s game with a 1-1 record, after winning their season opener at Florida State, 16-13, before dropping a 49-21 decision against No. 14/13 UCF last Saturday. • The Jackets trailed UCF by just seven points in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s battle, but faded down the stretch of the defeat. • Georgia Tech’s offense continued its early-season surge versus UCF with 471 yards, its highest total in 18 games. Tech is averaging 454.5 yards of total offense per game this season (good for sixth in the ACC and 22nd nationally) and has surpassed the 400-yard mark in both contests. Last season, the Yellow Jackets averaged 286.3 yards per game (last in the ACC and 127th out of 130 teams nationally) and did not have a 400-yard game.
BACK IN OUR HOUSE • After back-to-back road games to open the season, Syracuse kicks off a three-game homestand when Georgia Tech visits ‘Cuse. • Syracuse is set to debut $118 million in renovations to the stadium this weekend after a new roof and other amenities were installed in the building this offseason. • The COVID-19 pandemic pushing the season back a week, plus two-straight road games to start make this the latest home opener in the history of the building and latest since the Orange hosted Kansas on this date in 1970. The only exception to this is the 1979 season, when Syracuse did not play any home games while the Dome (also known as the Loud House) was being constructed. • The game will air on ACC Regional Sports Networks, with Tom Werme ’91 (PxP), James Bates (analyst) and Lyndsay Rowley (reporter) on the call. ORANGE IN HOME OPENERS • Syracuse is 91-33-4 in home openers – a record that excludes the 1979 season when the Orange played all their games on the road due to the construction of the Dome – and the 1889 season when Syracuse did not play a home game. • Since the Dome opened in 1980, Syracuse is 16-17 in home starters. • Syracuse has won six of its last-seven home openers, including a 3-1 mark under Dino Babers. • This is the second-straight season in which Syracuse faces a conference opponent in its home opener. Prior to facing Clemson in the opener last season, Syracuse had not faced a conference foe since beginning the 2005 season vs. then BIG EAST rival West Virginia. A NEW STADIUM EXPERIENCE • Saturday’s game will be the first at Syracuse since the University began work on creating a new stadium experience. • Unfortunately it’ll debut in a fan-less stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Saturday’s game will be the debut of a new fixed roof, a vertically hung scoreboard, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, improved accessibility and added Wi-Fi capabilities are just a handful of features. • The new crown truss atop the building consists of over 6-million pounds of structural steel and the center-hung scoreboard is 7,022 square feet, making it the second-largest indoor centerhung system in the United States. • The first Syracuse football game in the building came 40 years ago this week, when Syracuse defeated Miami (OH) on Sept. 20, 1980.