Georgia Tech players warm up during the first day of Georgia Tech football practice Friday, August 4, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

5 previews of Georgia Tech football season

A first appearance in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. Another chance to defeat an SEC school and extend its win streak against that conference to four games. A renewal of a rivalry that once meant a lot in the South. All those are among the storylines that have Georgia Tech fans excited about the 2017 season.

The Yellow Jackets will meet No. 25 Tennessee at 8 p.m. Sept. 4 (Labor Day) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, in a game to be televised by ESPN. The Jackets were 3-0 against SEC teams last season and have won five of their past six games against SEC foes, dating to 2014.

While the Volunteers lead the series 24-17-2, Tech won the rivalry during their SEC days. The Jackets were 8-5-1 when their games counted in the SEC standing and won five of the final six games before the Jackets left the SEC after the 1963 season. Three years later, the teams met when both were ranked in the top 10 and Tech prevailed 6-3.

To whet the appetite in advance of the opening game, here are five articles that will appear in the Aug. 27 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and are available now on my

KeShun Freeman a key on defense

An aspiring pediatric anesthesiologist, Georgia Tech defensive end KeShun Freeman is a campus leader and a credit to Tech. With three seasons of starting experience at a critical position and a leadership role, the Yellow Jackets senior should play a key role on this season’s defense. 

Kenny Cooper a key on offense

With so much uncertainty surrounding the offense with a competition at quarterback and a replacement needed for dismissed B-back Dedrick Mills, perhaps center Kenny Cooper is as vital as anyone in the Georgia Tech lineup. A sophomore following in Freddie Burden’s footsteps, he could be a difference maker for the Yellow Jackets. 

3 emerging players in 2017

While the Yellow Jackets return 16 starters, not leaving much room for new impact players, here are three Jackets players who figure to help shape how the 2017 season unfolds. 

3 freshmen to watch in 2017

In a promising freshman class of 24 players, these three most likely will be among those playing this season for Georgia Tech.

A look inside the 2017 schedule

A game-by-game examination of Georgia Tech’s 12-game regular-season schedule, starting with a historic game in a new stadium on Labor Day night.

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