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Syracuse announced it will open the 2025 season with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game against Tennessee in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The season opener on Aug. 30, 2025, marks SU’s first at a neutral site since 2013.
“Scheduling this game is a great opportunity for our program,” head coach Dino Babers said in a press release. “Getting an opportunity to open the 2025 season on a national stage and in Mercedes-Benz Stadium is something that our players and fans can really look forward to and be excited about.”
Director of Athletics John Wildhack said in the release that Atlanta is among the strongest SU alumni contingents in the country. The opportunity to kick-off the season “in one of the nation’s premier season-opening neutral site games” is beneficial for the athletes and the program too, he said.
The meeting between Syracuse and Tennessee will be the fourth in the two programs’ histories. Most recently, the two teams faced off in a home-and-home series in 1998 and 2001. The Orange lost the first game 34-33 in a matchup when both teams were ranked in the top 20. SU lost the second 33-9, but went on to win 10 of 11 games that season and finish No. 14 in the AP’s rankings.
The announcement completes SU’s nonconference schedule for 2025 — the Orange will also play Connecticut and Army in the Carrier Dome and Notre Dame on the road.
Syracuse football kicks off its 2021 season on Sept. 4 when it travels to Ohio University. The Orange will play Rutgers, Albany and Liberty before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Florida State on Oct. 2.
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