FB OVERVIEW: Return flights to Neyland for SEC Home Opener against Gamecocks

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – After two road games to open the conference game, Tennessee is back on Rocky Top this Saturday for their SEC home opener against South Carolina.

The Vols will look to get things done after an impressive performance across the board in last Saturday’s resounding victory at Missouri.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Saturday’s game will air on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff (PxP), Mike Golic Jr. (analyst) and Taylor McGregor (sideline) on the call. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. ET.

The game is also available to stream through the ESPN app on your connected streaming device and on ESPN.com.

Fans can listen to the official Tennessee radio show on the Vol network (WIVK-FM 107.7 / WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 135, XM Ch. 192, Internet Ch. 963). A live audio stream of the broadcast will also be available on UTSports.com and the official Gameday app.

Bob Kesling (PxP), Pat Ryan (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg manage secondary tasks. Big Orange countdown starts at 10:30 a.m.

GAME DAY INFO

For the most recent information on Tennessee’s 2021 game day policies, please visit the Tennessee Football Game Days information page on UTSports.com. Some important information is also listed below.

Tickets and parking
Fans with digital tickets and / or parking are encouraged to download their ticket (s) and parking to their phone before arriving at the gate or parking lot. Fans still interested in purchasing tickets for the match can visit AllVols.com or click on HERE. The ticket office will open three hours before kick-off on Saturday (9 a.m.).

Tennessee Track and Field App
Fans are encouraged to download the Tennessee Athletics app, now home to the Coca-Cola GBO Zone, allowing fans to play trivia games, take part in a light show and more. Search for “Tennessee Athletics” in Apple or Google Play Store or use this link to download: http://utsports.com/app

GAME EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

With this year being the 100e season at Neyland Stadium, Shield-Watkins Field, Tennessee Athletics unveiled several exciting new fan experience enhancements for the 2021 football season. New game day enhancements include new LED lights for the stadium, Unclassified fireworks and “I’ll give my all” signs throughout the stadium.

More information on all of the new gameday enhancements can be found HERE.

“I will give everything”: As fans make their way to their seats, they can participate in a tradition similar to that of the volunteers taking the pitch. “I Will Give My All” signs have been installed above the gates entering each section of Neyland Stadium. Just as the ‘Give it all’ team is reminded before going through the T pre-game, every fan entering the stadium is encouraged to do the same.

Flight Village: Be sure to visit Vol Village presented by Toyota for a whole new experience for fans. It’s FREE for all fans with or without a match ticket. There will be live music, activities for all ages, food trucks and more. Vol Village, located in a great location to view the Vol Walk and Band March is just across from Circle Park. The Toyota Vol Village will offer on October 9 a free concert of Union Fairview, ax throwing, face painting, tailgate games and much more! Fans can stop from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The tailgate of really: Truly’s Tailgate, located outside Gate 9, will open at 9 a.m. and will remain open until the end of the third quarter. All fans with tickets to the match can stop by to eat and drink during this time.

Pre-game overview: At the end of Saturday’s national anthem, a joint flyby will be conducted by a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 134th Tennessee Air National Guard Refueling Wing and four F-16s from the 169th National Guard Fighter Wing. Air Force, stationed at the McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Columbia, South Carolina.

MUST KNOW

Flights to honor UT legend Al Wilson
The University of Tennessee, the National Football Foundation (NFF) and the College Hall of Fame will jointly honor Al Wilson, elected to the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame, with a tribute to the NFF Hall of Fame on campus, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place at halftime of Saturday’s game against South Carolina.

Wilson will be officially inducted on December 7, 2021, becoming the 25th Vol to be entered into the College Football Hall of Fame and the first since Peyton Manning in 2017. Of the 25 inductees, 21 were entered as players and four as as coaches. The 25 inductees are the most numerous in the SEC and the sixth at the national level.

Dark mode
Tennessee will don their alternative black Nike “Dark Mode” uniforms on Saturday. This is the first time since Halloween 2009 that Tennessee will wear black jerseys, a night that saw the Vols defeat the Gamecocks, 31-13. The “Dark Mode” uniforms of the Vols can be seen in more detail HERE.

Record performance
Tennessee put in a record-breaking offensive performance last Saturday, bursting for 683 total attacking yards while dominating Missouri, 62-24, in Colombia to give Josh Heupel his first SEC victory as a head coach.

The Vols totaled 458 rushing yards, which is the most rushing yards in a road game in school history, the third highest rushing yards in a game overall, and the most total since he totaled 513 rushing yards against Washington & Lee on November 10, 1951. RB Tiyon Evans led the way with 156 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns. His 92-yard run in the first quarter was the third longest run in UT history and the third longest run by an FBS player this season. QB Hendon hooker accounted for 305 total yards of attack and four touchdowns en route to being named the Manning Award Star of the Week.

Hendo Cinco
Hooker has taken control of the Tennessee quarterback in recent weeks. The transfer of Virginia Tech graduates threw multiple touchdown passes in four straight games for the first time in his career, throwing 10 touchdown passes on a single interception during that span. He is the first UT quarterback to throw multiple touchdown passes in four straight games since Joshua Dobbs did so from Nov. 5-26, 2016. Hooker’s 182.46 odds in 2021 rank fifth in the FBS and second in the SEC, behind only Bryce Young of Alabama (185.75). In Hooker’s three starts this season, Tennessee is 2-1 as the offense averages 44.0 points per game and 507.7 yards per game.

Ranking among the best in the nation
Tennessee’s rush offensive (255.2, 7th FBS) and rushed defense (104.0, 24th FBS) both rank in the top 25 nationally. They are second and fourth respectively in the SEC. The Flights are one of five FBS teams to place in the top 25 in the two, joining the Air Force, Army, Auburn and San Diego State. Auburn and UT are the only Power 5 teams.

The Vols are racking up 474.6 yards per game of total offense, good for fourth in the SEC and 19th in the FBS. In SEC games only, Tennessee puts in 553.0 ypg of total offense, which leads the league. Flights are the only team in the conference averaging over 500.0 ypg in SEC games only. The UT has amassed at least 400 yards in four of its five games this season. In 41 games as a head coach, Heupel’s teams have scored 400 yards on 38 occasions.

STORY OF THE SERIES

Series lead flights, 27-10-2

Tennessee and South Carolina meet for the 40th time, with the Vols having a historic 27-10-2 advantage. UT has earned back-to-back series wins, including a 31-27 road victory over the Gamecocks to open the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season. The Vols have an impressive 17-3 record against South Carolina in Knoxville.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina enter Saturday’s competition with a 3-2 overall record after ending a two-game losing streak with a 23-14 victory over Troy last weekend. The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach Shane Beamer, son of longtime Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer.

USC has a defense that ranks in the top 30 nationally for total defense (26e-304.6 ypg), scoring defense (23e-17.4 points per game), passing yards allowed (12e-160.4) and interceptions (3e-9). Senior DB Redshirt Jaylen Foster led the Gamecocks defensive end with 39 tackles and four interceptions. Redshirt senior linebacker Brad Johnson leads the team with 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Offensively, Carolina is led by sophomore quarterback Luke Doty, who has 566 passing yards and three touchdowns in three games played. Doty’s primary target is senior winger Josh Vann, who leads the team with 16 receptions, 343 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. The Gamecocks also offer a balanced rush attack with four players entering the game with between 101 and 167 rushing yards.


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