It’s game day | Tennessee Vols set to open football season against Ball State

Tennessee looks to continue progress made under Josh Heupel in 2021
Vols expect to make big strides in 2022.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It’s officially football time in Tennessee as the 2022 season kicks off with a primetime matchup against Ball State at 7 p.m. Thursday at Neyland Stadium.

The Volunteers will look to record their third straight season-opening victory as they welcome the Cardinals to Rocky Top.

Tonight’s game will be televised on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (PxP), Jordan Rodgers (analyst), and Cole Cubelic (sideline analyst) on the call. Kickoff is slated for 7:04 p.m. ET.

Fans can enjoy several enhancements to the gameday experience at Neyland Stadium, and Shields-Watkins Field this fall, including new state-of-the-art videoboards above both end zones and the North End Zone Social Deck, among others.For more information on all of the new stadium and gameday fan experience enhancements, click HERE.

New this season will be a video wall for fans to check out other games around college football. Admission is free to all fans with or without a game ticket. A new food court debuts, along with appearances by Smokey and the Spirit Squad. Vol Village, located across from Circle Park, serves as the ideal spot to view the Vol Walk and the Pride of Southland Band march. Vol Village opens 3 ½ hours prior to kickoff and will open at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

After a record-setting debut, Josh Heupel enters his second season as head coach of the Vols. Of the eight first-year Power Five head coaches hired in 2021, no coach won more regular season games than Heupel (7). He also produced the most 2022 NFL Draft picks among coaches making their debut with a new team (5). The 27th head coach in Vol football history,

Thursday Night Openers

Tennessee is opening a season on a Thursday night for the second consecutive season and the fourth time in its existence. The Vols are 3-0 in those previous matchups. UT beat Bowling Green last season, 38-6, and in 2016, the Vols held on for a 20-13 overtime victory over Appalachian State.

Overall, UT is 93-26-6 all-time in season openers and 75-14-4 (.826) in season openers played in Knoxville. The Big Orange are 55-12-3 (.804) in season openers played in Neyland Stadium, Shields-Watkins Field (since 1921).