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Vol fans get ready for matchup against top ranked UGA

A look at where to tailgate on gameday
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 9:18 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The Vol faithful are riding a winning feeling after taking down Kentucky last week, and it has shown by the tailgating turnout around town.

Over in the Vol Navy, Nelson Scoggins has his boat ready to go. He’s been driving 148 miles from Dayton every home game since 1989 to but his boat in the Tennessee River along with other to cheer on the Vols.

Scoggins has a UGA fan alongside him this year, and there’s a friendly bet on the line. “Whoever loses has to jump in the river” is the bet on the line between a Georgia fan and the home team. Time will tell who has to get into the likely near freezing waters of the Tennessee River.

Next door at Calhoun’s, one fan has called his tailgate spot home for 21 years. CJ Jackson set up his tent outside Calhoun’s just like every other gameday with his girlfriend sporting a Georgia hoodie next to him. Jackson said the Vol’s have a “puncher’s chance” which he says is all he can ask for.

As for the question of why the same spot for all those years? Jackson said, “I don’t go anywhere else to eat drink or have a good time in Knoxville.”

If you want to stay clear of the water, there’s a community of fans near the UT softball complex that make traveling to games a lifestyle.

Betty Babb has been taking her mobile home to UT games since 2002. For a few years that drive was from Sarasota, Florida but is now much closer in Chattanooga.

“We park by the same people week after week year after year and some of our closest friends come from tailgating,” said Babb. The lifelong Vol fan travels to many away games as well, and has made friends so close that they will occasionally go on vacations together.

The wait to get into multiple restaurants in Market Square have been several hours on Friday night as the anticipation for this game is already palpable.

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and you can watch the game here on WVLT.

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