EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- A season of high
expectations for Georgia Tech begins on Sunday in the Kickoff
Classic against Syracuse at Giants Stadium.
The 13th-ranked Yellow Jackets won nine games last season and
return 36 players from the two-deep roster, including
quarterback George Godsey, who threw for over 2,900 and 23
With Florida State beset by a series of injuries, Georgia Tech
is given a serious chance of unseating the Seminoles in the
Atlantic Coast Conference and even contending for its first
national title since the 1990 season.
"We have an opportunity to be a good football team," said
Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary, who was an assistant at
Syracuse from 1980-86. "I think if we play well, we can be
competitive with anybody we face."
Godsey will be surrounded by a talented cast of skill players
that includes All-ACC receiver Kelly Campbell and tailback Joe
Much of the credit for the offensive success last season went to
offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, who left to become coach
at Maryland. Bill O'Brien, running backs coach the last three
seasons, takes over for Friedgen.
While Georgia Tech is set at quarterback, Syracuse is still
looking for a viable replacement for Donovan McNabb, who begins
his third season with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are several
candidates, including R.J. Anderson, the starter at the end of
last season, and Troy Nunes, who saw action in all 11 games in
All-American candidate Dwight Freeney will anchor the defensive
line for Syracuse, which has had 14 straight winning seasons.
Sunday marks the first meeting between the schools.
Georgia Tech attempted to play in a preseason game last season,
but a contest with Virginia Tech in the Black Coaches
Association Classic was postponed by lightning.
The Yellow Jackets played in one previous Kickoff Classic,
losing to Penn State in 1991. Syracuse defeated Wisconsin in
1997 and lost to Southern California in 1990.
After facing Georgia Tech, the Orangemen will have little time
to prepare before visiting high-powered Tennessee on August 31.