Tennessee football: Kickoff time, TV channel set for Mississippi State at Vols

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the goalpost before a game between the UCLA Bruins and the Tennessee Volunteers on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the goalpost before a game between the UCLA Bruins and the Tennessee Volunteers on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Coming off its bye, Tennessee football’s matchup with the Mississippi State Bulldogs is set. The Volunteers have the time and television station info.

After going from a noon game to a bye week to a night game, Tennessee football will be back playing at noon two Saturdays from now. The time and TV network are set for the second straight Bulldogs team the Vols host in Knoxville, this time Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 12.

UT will take on MSU at noon that day, or 11 a.m. Starkville time, and the game will be on the SEC Network. That will come a week after hosting the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The SEC announced the channel and time for the matchup Monday morning on its website.

The last time Tennessee football faced the Mississippi State Bulldogs was in 2012, and that game was in Starkville at night. UT lost that game by 10 in what was the beginning of the end for Derek Dooley on Rocky Top.

This time, the game will be crucial for the Vols if they want any sort of turnaround in Jeremy Pruitt’s second season. Assuming they lose to UGA, they will be 1-4. If they can upset Mississippi State, then a bowl game is back in play given the November slate of their schedule.

However, if the Vols lose to Joe Moordhead and their former defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop, then a bowl is all but out of the picture, and 1-11 is also on the table. Simply put, it will likely be a huge game for Rocky Top.

Mississippi State hasn’t traveled to Knoxville since 2008, when Sylvester Croom was still their head coach. The Vols won that game, but it was during the final season of another head coach. Simply put, when Tennessee football plays MSU, it appears to be in a year in which their head coach will be fired.

Is that a bad sign for Jeremy Pruitt? Well, maybe that’s an overreaction. But playing this game at noon with a 1-4 record will make it really hard to get the fans up for the game, and the Vols need everybody they can get.