Syracuse Football: Some intriguing, and first-time, match-ups in 2021

Hopefully, there’s nowhere to go but up for Syracuse football in 2021. The Orange were hampered by some unfortunate injuries and inexperience at various positions a stanza ago, when the ‘Cuse went an awful 1-10.

However, I believe that the Orange has a chance to significantly improve upon that 2020 record come this fall. The ‘Cuse will attempt to turn things around, though, with a roster and coaching staff that entail numerous moving parts.

The squad’s 2021 recruiting class isn’t highly rated, but it’s solid. The Orange is seeing some talented guys transfer into Central New York, as well as depart the Hill for the pros or other collegiate groups.

There are new coaches, young stars in the making, a relatively frustrated fan base, and a fairly interesting 2021 schedule that recently came out for the ‘Cuse and its Atlantic Coast Conference peers.

Let’s take a closer look at the Syracuse football 2021 foes.

The Orange athletics department put out a press release not too long ago that contains fascinating nuggets on a variety of the team’s 2021 opponents.

The ‘Cuse kicks things off on Sept. 4 at Ohio, and Syracuse football is beginning a season on the road for the fourth year in a row. The Orange will battle the Bobcats, out of the Midwest Athletic Conference, for the inaugural instance.

On Sept. 11, the ‘Cuse hosts former Big East Conference rival Rutgers. These groups met annually from 1980 to 2012, with Syracuse football leading the all-time series, 30-12-1. These days, of course, the Scarlet Knights suit up in the rugged Big Ten Conference.

Fellow Empire State crew Albany will head to the Carrier Dome on Sept. 18. The Great Danes, an FCS program, didn’t compete in 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Despite the Orange and Albany campuses residing only a couple of hours from each other, this will be their first encounter.

Liberty, a top-20 team in 2020 that finished 10-1, will travel to the Hill on Sept. 24. The Flames absolutely crushed the ‘Cuse a stanza ago.

On Oct. 2, Syracuse football makes a trip to Florida State. The Seminoles represented the only squad in the ACC’s Atlantic division that the Orange did not play in 2020.

A week later, on Oct. 9, Wake Forest comes to the Dome for the third-straight term, in what is the initial ACC home affair for Syracuse football in 2021.

The ‘Cuse is playing Liberty on a Friday night, and the same holds true of the Orange’s clash against perennial juggernaut Clemson on Oct. 15 in Central New York. In 2020, the Tigers captured the ACC crown and qualified for the College Football Playoff.

On Oct. 23, Syracuse football will go to Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., to face off with former Big East foe Virginia Tech for the first time as an ACC member.

Due to scheduling shifts brought on by the pandemic, the Orange will host Boston College on Oct. 30, the third-consecutive campaign that the Eagles will compete with the ‘Cuse on the road.

Conversely, Syracuse football will head to Louisville on Nov. 13, the third-straight year that the Orange is squaring off with the Cardinals away from CNY. Louisville destroyed the ‘Cuse in 2020.

The Orange’s last road game is at N.C. State on Nov. 20, and in the 2021 regular-season finale on Nov. 27, Syracuse football will welcome long-time rival Pittsburgh to town.