Clemson University

Welcome to the ACC, Geoff Collins. Now go face Clemson in Game 1

Geoff Collins isn’t exactly easing his way into his first season at Georgia Tech.

The new Yellow Jackets head coach begins his tenure with a trip to Clemson to face the defending national champions in Week 1.

It is hard to imagine a more difficult start to a season than facing Trevor Lawrence and company on the road, but Collins and the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I mean, it’s exciting,” Collins said. “Anytime you can play such a high-profile game against a great team, it narrows your focus a little bit more throughout the offseason, throughout winter conditioning and even throughout the summer to know you’re going against a program with such great coaches, such great players, and a great environment.”

Instead of viewing the matchup against Clemson as a difficult challenge, the Yellow Jackets are viewing it as an incredible opportunity.

“Playing the defending national champs is any competitor’s dream. They’re going to be a very well-coached team. They’re going to be a talented team. But I think we’re gonna be a very well-coached team and a talented team,” senior linebacker David Curry said. “Coach Collins and all of us would want it no other way than to start off with them.”

Curry and the Georgia Tech defense will have the task of slowing down arguably the most explosive offense in the country.

The Tigers return Lawrence, a Heisman candidate at quarterback, as well as the reigning ACC Player of the Year — running back Travis Etienne. Clemson also has plenty of talent at receiver, led by Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross.

“If you’re a competitor, there’s nowhere else you’d want to be than Death Valley on a Thursday, opening day versus the defending national champions. It’s a dream come true,” Curry said. “That environment is so much fun and I can’t wait to step into that stadium. I don’t buy into all the big hype and ‘Oh, they’re this and that.’ I just think it’s another football game and it’s gonna be a really fun football game. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people… We’re excited to go into Death Valley on that Thursday and shock the world.”