ACC, Syracuse announce 2021 football schedule

2021 Syracuse football schedule released

SU to play seven games at the Carrier Dome in the upcoming season
Published: January 28, 2021
Syracuse Orange wide receiver Trebor Pena (29) runs back a kickoff for a touchdown during a game against North Carolina State on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Syracuse football kicks off their 2021 season on Sept. 4 against Ohio.

The ACC announced its football schedule for the 2021 season on Thursday, highlighted by seven games at the Carrier Dome, the most since 2017. The Orange will have a traditional 12-game season that opens Labor Day weekend on Sept. 4, at Ohio.

Syracuse finished the COVID-altered 2020 campaign 1-10 with a lone win over Georgia Tech. Aside from a game against Liberty, a team the Orange will face for the third straight season this fall, the 2020 season was comprised entirely of in-conference opponents.

Syracuse’s 2021 season will have a traditional ACC slate with eight conference games, six of which are Atlantic Division members, and the Orange will play four non-conference opponents. The schedule features two teams, Clemson (No. 3) and Liberty (No. 17) that finished in the top 20 of the final AP ranking.

Following a road opener, the Orange will play three home Dome games against Rutgers, Albany and Liberty. SU reignites a Big East rivalry with Rutgers and owns a 30-12-1 record against the Scarlet Knights, now a member of the Big Ten. The Orange will look to extend its 18-0 record against FCS opponents when they kick off against Albany on Sept. 18.

With four non-conference games in the first four weeks, the Orange start October with their final eight games against ACC competition. October features matchups against Florida State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Boston College. FSU was the only Atlantic Division team not on SU’s 2020 schedule, and the Orange will travel to Lane Stadium to face Virginia Tech for the first time since both teams were in the Big East.

Following an early November bye week, Syracuse rounds out its schedule against Louisville, NC State and Pittsburgh. SU will travel to Louisville for a third straight season and will visit NC State after playing a then-ranked Wolfpack team in a close 36-29 defeat last season. The Orange will close out the season in the Carrier Dome against Pitt, SU’s most common opponent. In the teams’ 77th matchup, Syracuse looks to avenge last season’s 21-10 loss with a strong end to the 2021 campaign.

With four non-conference opponents to start the season, the No. 15-ranked ACC team from 2020 will look for a faster start than a season ago. For the Orange’s seven home games, their opponents’ 2020 winning percentage comes in at .620, so the team will lean on home-field advantage to deal with a tough schedule.

Fans looking to purchase season tickets for Syracuse should be watchful over the next few weeks as more information is released. The return to a normal schedule and fan-attended events will depend on local, state and national guidelines as COVID-19 restrictions evolve into the fall.

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is a magazine, news and online graduate student and lead sports producer for The NewsHouse.