Tennessee Football Opener Set for Thursday Night



Coming off a debut season that featured eight school records, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel and his Volunteers will kick off the 2022 campaign against Ball State in a special Thursday, Sept. 1, SEC Network primetime contest in Neyland Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET.

The contest was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3. Tennessee and Ball State will be meeting for the first time in football.

The Thursday primetime tilt debuts the newly-renovated Neyland Stadium, which will feature two new state-of-the-art videoboards on the north and south ends, a lower-west premium club, enhanced chairback seating in multiple lower-west sections and a party deck social gathering space on the upper north end.

This September also marks the 50th anniversary of the first night game in Neyland Stadium. A then-record crowd of 71,647 watched quarterback Condredge Holloway and the seventh-ranked Volunteers top sixth-ranked Penn State, 28-21, on Sept. 16, 1972.

Fifty years later, Heupel and the Volunteers go under the lights in Neyland Stadium with an exciting brand of football led by sixth-year senior quarterback and 2021 Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist Hendon Hooker. Hooker’s debut season in Knoxville saw the Vols orchestrate the nation’s “fastest” offense, averaging 2.99 plays per minute while owning the FBS’ seventh-best scoring offense at 39.3 points per game.

Tennessee returns eight starters on offense, including four offensive linemen. Defensively, the squad returns seven starters from an attacking unit that averaged 7.8 tackles for loss per game, good for second in the SEC and seventh in the FBS. Senior edge rusher Byron Young and senior linebacker Jeremy Banks lead the way after posting 11.5 tackles for loss apiece a year ago.

Existing season ticket holders can renew their tickets for the 2022 football campaign now by visiting Deadline for renewals is May 1. Fans wishing to purchase new season tickets can do so as well at or by contacting the UT Athletic Ticket Office at (865) 946-7000. Lower level season ticket options start at the all-in price of $600.


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