Georgia Tech and Syracuse Prepare for Kickoff

There's an extra hurdle to clear for Syracuse as it prepares for the Kickoff Classic against Georgia Tech - the weather. "It's extremely, extremely, extremely warm," coach Paul Pasqualoni said Thursday. "It's tough. We're not used to this kind of heat." His team will play Georgia Tech at the Meadowlands on Aug. 26 in the game that since 1983 has helped launch the college season.

Yellow Jackets and Syracuse Prepare For The Kickoff Classic

Teams meet Sunday, August 26 at the Meadowlands.

Both teams began practice this week, and Thursday was the first day teams could began wearing pads.

Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary, whose team is expected to be a top ten contender this season, is looking forward to the matchup.

"Syracuse has always been a great football program," O'Leary said in a conference call. "Their record last year was no indication of the kind of team they are."

Last season, Syracuse went 6-5 while Georgia Tech was 9-3.

"They have a lot of good athletes and are well coached," O'Leary said of his first opponent of the season.

Pasqualoni said the matchup will challenge his team.

"They're a top ten team, no question about it," he said. "For us, this will be a big challenge."

Pasqualoni, lamenting his team's depth as well as training in the midst of an East Coast heat wave, is concerned about making it through the preseason without any injuries.

"We'll try to get through preseason camp without getting bumped up or getting anybody hurt," he said. "Depth is a factor. But we'll be a solid team."

O'Leary wants to find team leaders and build chemistry in the two remaining weeks of camp.

"Those are our biggest issues," he said, adding that his players are excited about the trip to the Northeast.

"I'm sure a lot of our players have never been to New York," he said. "We're looking forward to it, seeing the skyline."


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