Seven home games highlight the 2021 Syracuse football slate, the most games in the Loud House since 2017.
The Orange will welcome a pair of teams that finished inside the top-20 of the final AP Poll in 2020, including No. 17 Liberty and No. 3 Clemson, which advanced to the College Football Playoffs. In total, Syracuse’s home schedule features teams with a combined .620 winning percentage from a year ago.
In total, the 12 game slate returns to the traditional ACC scheduling model, with eight league games (four home and four road), six of which come against ACC Atlantic Division members, and four non-conference games.
Sept. 4 – at Ohio
Syracuse will open the 2021 campaign on the road for the fourth-straight season, facing Ohio for the first time. The Bobcats are coming off a 2-1 season, in a shortened 2020 MAC campaign that only allowed them to play three total games.
The last time ‘Cuse opened on the road at a MAC school, Syracuse defeated Western Michigan in the 2018 season opener en route to a 10-3 campaign.
Sept. 11 – vs. Rutgers
The home opener will be a revival of an old BIG EAST series, when Rutgers travels to Syracuse. The two teams have previously met 43 times, including annually from 1980 to 2012. ‘Cuse owns a 30-12-1 record all-time against Scarlet Knights.
The Orange will look to improve on its strong record in home openers, as the Orange are 92-33-4 entering this season.
Sept. 18 – vs. UAlbany
Syracuse will host Albany on Sept. 18 in what is the first matchup with the Great Danes, despite the two schools separated by just a few hour drive down the New York State Thruway. Albany had its fall season postponed in 2020, along with the rest of the FCS, but had a record-setting season last time they took the field.
Albany went 9-5 in 2019, reaching the second round of the FCS Playoffs, and posting its highest win total since 2012. ‘Cuse is 18-0 all-time against FCS opponents.
Sept. 24 – vs. Liberty
The Orange will face Liberty for the third-straight season, after splitting the two prior matchups. The non-conference finale comes as a staunch test for Syracuse, with the Flames finishing last season at 10-1 and ranked No. 17 in the final AP Poll.
Oct. 2 – at Florida State
After the 2020 schedule was re-worked amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Florida State was not on Syracuse’s schedule for this past season, creating a scheduling oddity. It was the only ACC Atlantic Division opponent Syracuse did not face in 2020.
Oct. 9 – vs. Wake Forest
‘Cuse will host its first ACC opponent of the season on Oct. 9, when Wake Forest visits the Dome for the third-straight season. Syracuse is 6-4 all time against the Demon Deacons, who went 4-5 last season.
Oct. 15 – vs. Clemson
It’ll be Friday night lights in the Dome again when Syracuse hosts Clemson on Oct. 15. It’s the second Friday night game of the year, after the Liberty matchup in September. Syracuse boasts a 6-3 record on Friday night under head coach Dino Babers and has won 15 of its 21 Friday night games since the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl.
The Orange will have their hands full on weeknights this season as both opponents coming off 10-win campaigns will be the Friday matchups. Clemson finished 10-2 this past season, winning the ACC and making a trip to the College Football Playoff.
Oct. 23 – at Virginia Tech
‘Cuse will head to Lane Stadium for the first time as a member of the ACC. Syracuse and Virginia Tech both spent time in the BIG EAST before the Hokies and Orange reunited in the ACC.
Syracuse last played at Virginia Tech in 2003 and have met once previously as ACC foes. In 2016, Syracuse defeated then No. 17 Virginia Tech 31-17 for Babers’ first ACC win and first win over a ranked opponent in his Syracuse tenure.
Oct. 30 – vs. Boston College
Another scheduling oddity of the rearranged COVID-19 Pandemic will continue into 2021, when Syracuse hosts longtime Northeast Rival Boston College in the Dome for the third-consecutive season.
‘Cuse and BC will square off for the 55th time, with Syracuse entering the matchup leading the series 32-22. The Eagles are coming off a 6-5 season in 2020.
Nov. 13 – at Louisville
On the opposite side of the Boston College series, Syracuse will head to Louisville for the third year in a row following Syracuse’s 2020 game with the Cardinals changing from home to road when the schedule was redone.
‘Cuse will get Louisville coming off a bye the week prior. It’s the latest in the season Syracuse has had its first open date since 2006, when Syracuse also played nine-straight weekends to start the year.
Nov. 20 – at NC State
SU will close its road slate at NC State. Syracuse heads to Raleigh to face a Wolfpack team coming off an 8-4 record and a trip to the Gator Bowl.
Nov. 27 – vs. Pittsburgh
Syracuse will host Pitt in the season finale. Syracuse’s most frequent opponent, the Orange and Panthers will meet for the 77th time this season. It’s Syracuse’s first time meeting the Panthers in the season finale since 2016.