Jan. 18, 2002
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will face seven teams that played in 2001 bowl games in head coach Chan Gailey’s first season on the Flats. Home games with Brigham Young and Vanderbilt, as well as state-rival Georgia, highlight the non-conference slate for the Yellow Jackets in their 2002 football schedule announced Friday by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Yellow Jackets, who went 8-5 last season and defeated Stanford, 24-14, in the Seattle Bowl, play one Thursday night national television game on ESPN against Maryland on Oct. 17, in College Park. The schedule is evenly split with six home games and six road games, with two open dates. The NCAA is allowing all Division I teams to play 12 games in 2002 and 2003.
“I’m excited about this schedule,” said Gailey, who took over as Tech’s head coach this week following two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. “The ACC is going to be strong again, with seven teams that were eligible for bowls last year. We’ve got some tough non-conference games. I’m excited to get involved in the Tech-Georgia rivalry, Brigham Young brings a high-powered offensive team here, and we get to renew an old SEC rivalry with Vanderbilt. It’s going to be an exciting year.”
Georgia Tech also has added a Sept. 7 road game against Connecticut, which replaces a game originally scheduled at home against Middle Tennessee State. The Huskies (2-9 last year) are coached by former Yellow Jackets’ defensive coordinator Randy Edsall, who will be in his fourth season at the helm. It will be the first meeting between the two teams, and Connecticut will play two games in Atlanta, in 2004 and 2005, filling the Jackets’ need for a sixth home game in each of those years.
Tech’s season-opening game with Vanderbilt (2-9 last year) on Aug. 31 will be the first meeting between the former Southeastern Conference rivals since 1967. The Yellow Jackets are 16-15-3 against the Commodores, who played each other for the first time in 1892, Tech’s first year of intercollegiate football.
Following the game at Connecticut, Tech returns home to face the offensive powerhouse of Brigham Young for the first time ever on Sept. 21. The Cougars are coached by former Yellow Jackets offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Gary Crowton, who led BYU to a 12-2 record (7-0 in the Mountain West Conference) and a Liberty Bowl berth in his first season in 2001.
Tech kicks off the season by playing on six straight Saturdays. Following the games against Vanderbilt and Connecticut, the Yellow Jackets visit Clemson (7-5, Humanitarian Bowl winner) on Sept. 14 before hosting BYU. A trip to North Carolina (8-5), the 2001 Peach Bowl winner, follows on Sept. 28, and Wake Forest visits Atlanta on Oct. 5.
The Thursday night game with Maryland (10-2), which won the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2001 and played in the Orange Bowl, follows an Oct. 12 open date. Virginia visits Tech on Oct. 26, and then the Jackets travel to NC State (7-5, Tangerine Bowl) on Nov. 2 before hosting Florida State (8-4, Gator Bowl winner) and Duke on Nov. 9 and 16. The traditional season-ending game with Georgia (8-4, Music City Bowl) will be played in Athens on Nov. 30 following an open date on Nov. 23.
The game at Maryland extends Georgia Tech’s number of appearances on ESPN’s Thursday night package to 14, more than any other Division I team. The Yellow Jackets played twice Thursday night last year at home, falling in overtime to Maryland and dominating North Carolina.
Tech will visit Brigham Young and Vanderbilt in 2003. The Jackets will also play Auburn at the Georgia Dome in 2003 in the first of a three-game contract with the Tigers that includes a home-and-away series in 2004 and 2005. Notre Dame comes on the schedule in 2006 at home and in 2007 at South Bend. Louisville visits Tech in 2008 and hosts the Jackets in 2009. A complete listing of previously announced future non-conference opponents appears on Tech’s official website, Ramblinwreck.com.
GEORGIA TECH'S 2002 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE(All times to be announced, home games in all capital letters)
Aug. 31 VANDERBILT Sept. 7 at Connecticut Sept. 14 at Clemson Sept. 21 BRIGHAM YOUNG Sept. 28 at North Carolina Oct. 5 WAKE FOREST Oct. 12 open Oct. 17 at Maryland [ESPN] Oct. 26 VIRGINIA Nov. 2 at NC State Nov. 9 FLORIDA STATE Nov. 16 DUKE Nov. 23 open Nov. 30 at Georgia