2018 Tech football schedule released

Photo by Himanshu Dedge

The ACC released their full football schedule for the next year this Wednesday, filling out the remainder of Tech’s football schedule for the 2018-2019 season. The Yellow Jackets will play six games at Bobby Dodd and six away, as they did last season.

Tech opens the season at home on Sept. 1 against FCS Alcorn State before traveling to Florida to take on the University of South Florida on Sept. 8, who are coming off a 10-2 season in the American Athletic Conference, finishing second in the AAC East. Tech then travels to Pittsburgh to open ACC play on Sept. 15, enhancing a budding rivalry between the Panthers and Jackets after a series of close games and some mudslinging between Tech coach Paul Johnson and Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi.

The Jackets head home after the Pittsburgh game to tackle ACC champion Clemson at Bobby Dodd on Sept. 22. Clemson recently announced that almost all their starters from the previous season would return, and the Tigers pose a fearsome threat behind dual-threat QB Kelly Bryant, having won all three of their last three matchups with Tech by an average margin of more than 17 points.

Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables has the Jackets’ number, the return of defenders Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell will certainly help.

Following the Clemson game, Tech takes a break from a rough-and-tumble ACC schedule to host the Bowling Green Falcons of the MAC on Sept. 29 before traveling to Louisville for a primetime showdown on Friday, Oct. 5. Louisville will be without Heisman winner Lamar Jackson for the first time in three years, and may struggle to replace his production going into the 2018-
2019 season.

Tech then hosts the Duke Blue Devils, looking for revenge after a rainy 43-20 thrashing last season, in Atlanta on Oct. 13, before taking a bye week before the latest edition of the battle of the Techs — the Jackets take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in a Thursday thriller in Blacksburg on Oct. 25. Tech has come away with wins in two of their most recent matchups, remaining undefeated against Justin Fuente, but the past five matchups between the Jackets and Hokies have been decided by 10 points or fewer.

The Jackets then travel to North Carolina on Nov. 3 to square off against the Tar Heels before returning home to tango with the Miami Hurricanes on the 10th. Tech narrowly missed an upset against Miami last season, choking away a late-game lead and losing by only a single point to the eventual ACC-runner-up and Rose Bowl participant Hurricanes.

Tech then closes out their ACC schedule with a home game on the 17th against Virginia before traveling to Athens for the annual Clean Ol’ Fashioned Hate game against the Georgia Bulldogs on Nov. 24. The Bulldogs collapsed in monumental fashion during the National Championship game against Alabama, but are still coming off their strongest season in recent memory. However, the Jackets have won the two most recent matchups in Athens and are looking for revenge after being embarrassed in last year’s game, extending a long home losing streak in the rivalry.

Notably, this year’s ACC schedule is the first that was created under new guidelines following complaints from Tech’s athletics department (and, most loudly, Paul Johnson) about Tech’s 2017-2018 schedule. The Jackets were scheduled to play three opponents who had bye weeks before the game when Tech had none, more than any other team in the ACC. Under the new guidelines, no ACC team has more than one such game scheduled. Georgia Tech will play Duke coming off of a bye week, and has their own bye week before their Thursday night game against Virginia Tech (though VT has a bye week before the game as well).

Correction: A previous version of this article indicated that Tech would play Miami on the 17th as well as the 10th.