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FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2021: Yellow Jackets’ path to ACC title appears strenuous, but possible
Jeff Sims returns for his sophomore season leading the Yellow Jackets on offense as the quarterback. (Georgia Tech Athletics)

Six wins in Geoff Collins’ first two seasons at Georgia Tech haven’t been ideal for the transformation from a triple option to a more modern style of play. 

The 2021 season doesn’t seem to do the Yellow Jackets any favors either. 

After kicking off the campaign against Northern Illinois and Kennesaw State (both at home) in the first two weeks of the season, the schedule ramps up drastically. 

Georgia Tech not only plays Clemson in week three, but they have to face the Tigers in Death Valley. And, for a Tigers squad that has been in the college football playoff the past six seasons, home-field advantage will be a huge factor. 

Then, North Carolina comes to town the following week. That matchup will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

The Tar Heels come off an 8-2 2020 season that concluded with a 41-27 loss to Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl. 

Heading into the fifth week of 2021, the Yellow Jackets will have their third true home game of the season against Pittsburgh. 

This year’s matchup will be intriguing since last year ended in a heated fashion with the Panthers winning 34-20. 

After three weeks of gruesome matchups, Georgia Tech should get a little reprieve. 

On Oct. 9, the Yellow Jackets will go on the road to face the Blue Devils of Duke. Duke finished 2020 second-to-last in the ACC with a 1-9 overall record. 

This was one of Georgia Tech’s three wins last season beating the Blue Devils 56-33. 

Following a bye week, the Yellow Jackets go back-to-back weeks facing Virginia-based teams. They’ll face Virginia on the road on Oct. 23 then return home to compete against Virginia Tech. 

Neither of these teams played against the Yellow Jackets in 2020. 

Nov. 6 features an away matchup with Miami. Georgia Tech defeated the Hurricanes in 2019 as Collins’ second win at the helm of the program. Last year, though, the matchup was cancelled due to COVID-19. To close out the ACC part of the schedule, the Yellow Jackets come home to face-off against Boston College. The Eagles won last year’s matchup 48-27. 

The 2021 campaign finishes with more appalling matchups at Notre Dame and against Georgia. 

Surprisingly, the Yellow Jackets held up pretty well against the Fighting Irish a season ago losing 31-13. But it’ll still be a tall task for the Yellow Jackets in the second-to-last week of the season. 

Matching up against the Bulldogs from Athens is also significant in the Clean Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry. By the time the game commences, it will have been 728 days since this rivalry is renewed. So, it’ll be an even more special game at Bobby Stadium this season. 

It could be a long, grueling season ahead for the Yellow Jackets. And, for a team that’s still undergoing a historic program transformation, the schedule doesn’t seem easy. 

It’ll be interesting to see how Georgia Tech fare in 2021.