The season is back. Tennessee football takes the field for the first time in nearly nine months. They are doing it with a new head coach in Josh Heupel and tons of questions amidst an NCAA investigation and a wave of transfers.
Rocky Top will host a Bowling Green Falcons team coming off an 0-5 season and entering its third year under head coach Scot Loeffler. While excitement surrounds Heupel, pressure surrounds Loeffler in this Thursday night opener.
WynnBET’s Week 1 odds have the Vols as a 35-point favorite with the Over/Under set at 60.5. for this game. That’s clearly a lot of confidence in the program. Here is all the information you need for Tennessee football’s season-opening matchup.
Live stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Vol Network
UT’s last Thursday opener was in 2016. The Vols beat the Appalachian State Mountaineers 20-13 in overtime. Their last game against BGSU was in 2015, which they won 59-30. Given the fact that 2015 and 2016 were their last two top 25 finishes, this could be a good sign.
Given the fact that Loeffler runs a tempo-based Power I, this could be a high-scoring offense with no defense whatsoever. After all, Heupel’s tempo-based offense speaks for itself, and it’s been the biggest story of the offseason.
Coming off a 3-7 campaign, expectations are low for Rocky Top this year. However, at the same time, there is optimism that they will be able to put on a show in their opener given the nature of their opponent.
Lots of the talk is surrounding new UT starting quarterback Joe Milton III. The Michigan Wolverines transfer won the job in fall camp over Harrison Bailey and Virginia Tech Hokies graduate transfer Hendon Hooker.
After this game, Tennessee football will host the Pittsburgh Panthers in a game named for Johnny Majors, who coached both programs. They will then face the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles before playing their first conference game, on Sept. 25 at the Florida Gators.