The 2021 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football schedule has arrived, giving us a small glimpse of what next season could bring to The Flats.
The 2021 season will present more pressure for success on the program and head coach Geoff Collins. The Jackets must show massive improvements next season and cannot have another three win season. Unfortunately for Collins, the schedule will not do him any favors.
Let’s not waste any more time, let’s dive right into the schedule.
September 4: vs Northern Illinois
On September 4th, the Jackets will face off against the Northern Illinois Huskies. The Huskies only played six games last season and went 0-6, finishing last in the MAC. They came close to beating teams like Western Michigan and MAC champions Ball State (shockingly enough) but saw major losses to their other opponents. Quarterback Ross Bowers put up 1,365 passing yards last season and their star running back Harrison Waylee posted up 456 rushing yards. There should be some improvement from last seasons but on paper this is very much a game the Jackets should win easily.
September 11: vs Kennesaw State
Kennesaw State will make their first ever trip to Bobby Dodd on September 11. Kennesaw State don’t have much to go off as they have yet to play this year but judging from the way their season went in 2019, they will bring their A-game. After posting an 11-win season in 2019, the Jackets will have their work cut out for them. Not to mention the last time the Jackets faced an FCS team (The Citadel) they lost 27-24.
September 18: at Clemson
Ah, Clemson. We can always count on Clemson to humble us mid-season. This time, the Jackets first road game of the season comes against the Tigers….in the place we all know as “Death Valley”. The Tigers went 10-2 in 2020, making the College Football Playoffs before bringing outed by Ohio State in the semifinals. They lose a good deal talent including quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Eitenne. That being said, the Tigers won’t need to rebuild but simply reload and it will still likely be good enough for another College Football Playoff birth in 2021. This will be a mighty task for the Yellow Jackets.
September 25: vs North Carolina
To finish out September, UNC will travel to Atlanta in a season they hope ends in Charlotte at the ACC Championship game. They had eight wins in 2020 and made it to the Orange Bowl, a really good season to say the least in Mack Brown’s second season back in Chapel Hill. They return likely first round pick quarterback Sam Howell who boasted more than 3,500 passing yards this past season. They do lose some quality talent including running back Michael Carter who ran for over 1,200 rushing yards. On paper, they have the talent to replace what they lost, but are they ready to be on the national stage? Maybe their team will be just as stacked this year as they were last year. Maybe not. Only time will tell.
October 2: vs Pittsburgh
The Jackets open up October by hosting the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Panthers in 2020 s managed to get six wins and beat Tech toward the end of the year 34-20. Pitt’s QB Kenny Pickett had a little over 2,400 passing yards last season. Their running back, Vincent Davis posted 632 rushing yards. While never a great team, Pitt is always a dangerous one and will show up to every game no matter the circumstances. They’ll be a tough opponent for the Jackets to grab a win from.
October 9: at Duke
On October 9, the Jackets go on the road for only the second time, this time heading to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils. Last season, Duke had a poor performance. This should be a win for Tech on paper, returning a better team overall and having less questions on paper. Last season, the Jackets took down Duke 56-33.
October 23: at Virginia
After a bye week, Virginia is next on the schedule and Georgia Tech will face them in Charlottesville on October 23. Last season, Virginia had a quality season going 5-5 and 4-5 in conference play. They started off 1-4 but finished off the season winning four of their last five. Nothing too impressive, but better than what Tech did. It should be said that they did pull off an upset against North Carolina. They took a step back in 2020 from their 2019 ACC Coastal division title, will that trend continue in 2021?
October 30: vs Virginia Tech
The Battle of the Techs will take place on October 30th at Bobby Dodd Stadium but worth the Jackets still needing to play a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, this game could be moved there. The Hokies are coming off an underwhelming 2020 season posting a 5-6 record and it doesn’t look so great coming into 2021. Certainly better than the Jackets record though. With questions across their roster and especially at quarterback, Justin Fuente might be in for his biggest challenge yet.
November 6: at Miami
The Jackets will travel to Florida to face Miami to start off the final month of the regular season. An always highly-anticipated game, this one should be even better due to their matchup in 2020 being canceled. Miami only had three losses last season, looking good for the most part under head coach Manny Diaz. Starting quarterback D’Eriq King tore his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma State and a lot of their success will depend on his return.
November 13: vs Boston College
November 13th is reserved for Boston College. They went 5-6 last season, showing promise but also showing they’re still a young team with plenty of growth needed on the field. This quarterback , Phil Jurkovec passed for 2,558 yards last season and looked really good at times in his first season as a starter and their running back David Bailey rushed for 503 yards. It’s a game the Jackets could very well win but it won’t be easy.
November 20: at Notre Dame
The Yellow Jackets will travel to South Bend to face Notre Dame. You all probably don’t need me to tell you how they did last season. The answer is well, pretty dang good. The Irish team, often labeled as over-rated, made it all the way to the playoffs and lost of course to Alabama but still look good for a majority of the season to get there. The Jackets will need to throw all the punches they have in this one to bring home a victory.
November 27: vs Georgia
There’s nothing like some good Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. That’s what we of course will get to finish the season on November 27 as the Jackets welcome the Bulldogs to town. Georgia went 8-2 last season and ended second in the SEC Easy. They’re calling this season their “revenge” season and do return a very food team with some expecting them to be a potential playoff team when it’s all said and done. We’ll see about that. THWG.
Overall, the Yellow Jackets 2021 football schedule is tough, but doable. While six wins is going to probably be asking for a lot, a four win season at the least is a must and a five win season is doable. If the Jackets hope to get to a bowl game, they’ll likely need to be entering the last two weeks of the season at 6-4. That being said, a lot can happen between now and September, for now it’s just a waiting game. Check back on Monday for a complete game-by-game prediction for the 2021 season.