Georgia Tech: 13
On August 26th, 2001 Georgia Tech would open the season against the Syracuse Orangemen in the annual Kickoff Classic at the Meadowlands. Syracuse finished the 2000 season at a meager 6-5, but had high hopes for the 2001 season. Georgia Tech entered the season ranked 10th in the AP poll after finishing 9-3 in 2000 with a tough loss to Louisiana State in the Peach Bowl. Senior quarterback George Godsey was returning from off-season knee surgery to lead the Jackets in their hope for a national championship.
In what turned out to be a sloppy performance by the Jackets, Luke Manget got Tech on the board first with a 22 yard field goal for the opening period’s lone score. Syracuse would miss a field goal with 3:12 left in the quarter and Tech would lead 3-0 with three quarters to play.
Early in the second stanza, Godsey threw a strike to Kelly Campbell that went for 72 yards to the Syracuse 8 yard line. The pass gave Campbell the school record for receiving, but the Jackets were unable to capitalize on the drive. After advancing to the 3 on three consecutive runs, Burns failed to reach the end zone on fourth down and Tech turned the ball over on downs at the Orangemen one yard line.
Late in the quarter, Marvious Hester intercepted Troy Nunes’s pass at the Syracuse 16 yard line and returned the ball to the 6 for a Tech first and goal. Burns would score the game’s first touchdown on a one yard run a few plays later to increase Tech’s lead to 10-0 with 8:27 to play in the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, the Orangemen added their lone touchdown when Nunes scored on a one yard sneak to make it 10-7 in favor of the Jackets.
The Ramblin’ Wreck defense stepped up its performance, however, and held Syracuse scoreless for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Tech’s offense, which played poorly on the day, was able to muster up a 20 yard Manget field goal to extend Tech’s lead to 13-7 in the third quarter. Tech would hang on to the six point lead and improve to 1-0 on the young season.
Syracuse would drop their week two contest at Tennessee before reeling off eight straight wins. A loss at home to West Virginia would be their final of the season, and the Orange would finish at 10-3 with a victory over Kansas State in the Insight.com Bowl to end the year ranked 14th in the AP poll.
GT – 19
GT – 125
GT – 15-26-224
GT – 0-0
GT – 0
GT – 4-32
SYR – 8-49
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/082601aaa.html