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Eight bowl teams highlight Jackets schedule
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Georgia Tech 2009 football schedule
Sept. 5--Jacksonville State, Bobby Dodd Stadium
Sept. 10--Clemson, Bobby Dodd Stadium
Sept. 17--Miami, Miami
Sept. 26--North Carolina, Bobby Dodd Stadium
Oct. 3--Mississippi State, Starkville, Miss.
Oct. 10--Florida State, Tallahassee, Fla.
Oct. 17--Virginia Tech, Bobby Dodd Stadium
Oct. 24--Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
Oct. 31--Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn.
Nov. 7--Wake Forest, Bobby Dodd Stadium
Nov. 14--Duke, Durham, N.C.
Nov. 28--Georgia, Bobby Dodd Stadium

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s 2009 football schedule, which includes eight games against 2008 bowl teams, three games against Southeastern Conference opponents and two nationally-televised Thursday night games, was officially announced Thursday.

The Yellow Jackets’ 2009 schedule includes six road games and a challenging six-game home schedule that features 2008 bowl participants Georgia, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech opens the season Sept. 5 at home against Jacksonville State.

Tech’s road slate includes non-conference tilts against SEC opponents Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. The Yellow Jackets will also travel to Florida State, Miami, Virginia and Duke. Tech will play six road games for the first time since 2003 and will play two regular season games in the state of Florida for the first time ever.

“With 11 BCS opponents, including eight which played in bowl games last year, our schedule will be extremely challenging,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “At the same time, it’s a schedule our players and fans should be really excited about. The home schedule includes a number of big-time games and many of our road games are within driving distance for our fans.”

After opening the season on Sept. 5 against Jacksonville State, Georgia Tech will play consecutive nationally-televised (ESPN) Thursday night games. The Yellow Jackets host Clemson on Sept. 10 and travel to Miami on Sept. 17 to play the Hurricanes at Dolphin Stadium. The game against Clemson will come on a short week, just five days after the Yellow Jackets open the season against Jacksonville State.

Tech will play in an ESPN Thursday night game for the 17th consecutive season. The Yellow Jackets have 21 ESPN Thursday night appearances, more than any team in the nation. The Jackets will play Clemson in an ESPN Thursday night game for the first time since 1998 and they will play Miami on Thursday night for the second straight season. The last time Tech had two nationally-televised Thursday night games in one season came in 2000.

The Yellow Jackets return home Sept. 26 to host North Carolina, Tech’s third consecutive ACC game and its second straight game against an ACC Coastal Division opponent.

In October, Georgia Tech will face a difficult stretch, playing four of five games on the road.

The Yellow Jackets begin October at Mississippi State (Oct. 3), where the Bulldogs are under the direction of new head coach Dan Mullen. A week later, Georgia Tech plays at Florida State (Oct. 10), the Jackets’ first trip to Tallahassee since 2003.

Georgia Tech’s lone October home game comes against two-time defending ACC champion Virginia Tech (Oct. 17). The following Saturday, the Yellow Jackets play at Virginia (Oct. 24), looking to win in Charlottesville for the first time since 1990. Tech closes October with a Halloween road game at Vanderbilt (Oct. 31), its first meeting with the Commodores since 2003.

The Yellow Jackets return home in November to face Wake Forest (Nov. 7), the first meeting between the two teams since the 2006 ACC Championship Game. The next Saturday, Tech travels to Duke (Nov. 14) to conclude ACC play.

The first and only open date on the schedule is Nov. 21. Georgia Tech closes the regular season against tradition rival Georgia (Nov. 28) at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Georgia Tech finished the 2008 season with a 9-4 record overall in Johnson’s first season on The Flats. The Yellow Jackets went 5-3 in ACC play, tying for the ACC Coastal Division title and played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Schedule notes:
• Georgia Tech will play 11 consecutive weeks before its first and only open date on Nov. 21.

• Tech will play three teams from the Southeastern Conference (Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Georgia). Last season the Yellow Jackets went 2-1 vs. SEC opponents, with one of those games (vs. LSU) coming in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

• The Yellow Jackets play two games in a five-day span to open the season and will play their first three games in a 12-day span.