FB PREVIEW: #15 Return Flights to Neyland to Host Akron

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KNOXVILLE, TN – After a hard-fought road win over Pitt last weekend, Tennessee’s No. 15 returns home to host Akron on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols are hoping to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2016 and will look to go undefeated against opponents in the current Mid-American Conference (9-0).

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Saturday’s contest will air digitally on SEC Network+ and ESPN+ with Drew Carter (PxP), Aaron Murray (analyst) and Ashley Stroehlein (sideline) on the call. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:02 p.m. ET. For more information on how to watch Saturday’s game, click HERE.

Fans can listen to Official Tennessee Radio broadcast on the Vol Network (local: WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) on 64 stations across the state of Tennessee and the Southeast, UTsports.com, the app Tennessee Athletics, SiriusXM (Sirius Ch 134, XM Ch. 191, Internet Ch. 961) and the Varsity app. 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. The Big Orange Countdown pregame show begins at 5 p.m. ET.

GAME INFO

For the most up-to-date information on Tennessee’s 2022 playing policies, please visit the Tennessee Football Game Information page on UTSports.com. Some important information is also listed below.

Tickets and parking
Limited tickets for Saturday’s game are still available and can be purchased on AllVols.com.

Starting this fall, tickets and parking passes for all Tennessee Athletics events, including football, will be digital and accessible via mobile device to improve security and reduce the risk of fraud to tickets, as well as making the process more convenient for fans.

Fans will be admitted to Neyland Stadium via a unique QR code which will be scanned directly from a mobile device. For quick and easy access to Tennessee Athletics sites, fans are encouraged to download the Tennessee Athletics app from the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android).

Your mobile device is the ticket on the day of the match. All valid digital tickets will display a mobile barcode or hold icon near the reader (tap-and-go). PLEASE NOTE: SCREEN SHOTS OF TICKETS WILL NOT BE SCANNED AT THE DOOR AND DO NOT ALLOW ENTRY!

Printed PDF tickets will no longer be issued or accepted for entry to any Tennessee Athletics venue.

The only authorized sources for tickets to Tennessee Athletics events are the Tennessee Athletics ticket office, AllVols.com, the ticket office at the venue of the sporting event, and Ticketmaster.

A comprehensive step-by-step guide on how best to access and use your digital tickets and passes, including diagrams and FAQs, is available here.

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

GAME DAY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Neyland Stadium Fan Experience Improvements

Fans can enjoy several enhancements to the playing experience at Neyland Stadium, Shields-Watkins Field this fall, including new state-of-the-art video cards above both end zones and the social deck of the North End area, among others.

For more information on all the improvements to the fan experience in the new stadiums and on matchdays, click HERE.

Fireworks, Neyland Night Lights: The spectacular fireworks display that debuted last season during pregame and after UT touchdowns and wins returns in 2022. The spectacular LED light show also returns to accent the festivities in the game. With a late sunset in September, there will be a halftime light show for Saturday’s contest against Akron.

Toyota Volunteer Village: The Toyota Volunteer Village will feature a new artist or band every home game with a series of pre-game concerts, providing Vol fans with the ultimate pre-game atmosphere. The Powell Brothers will be the star group for this Saturday’s game.

New this season will be a video wall allowing fans to discover other games around college football. Admission is free for all fans with or without a match ticket. A new food court debuts, along with appearances from Smokey and Spirit Squad. Vol Village, located across from Circle Park, is the perfect place to see the Vol Walk and the Pride of Southland Band march. Vol Village opens 3:30 a.m. before kick-off and will open at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The tailgate of Truly: Located outside Gate 9, fans can stop to eat and drink at Truly’s Tailgate. Fans can enter Truly’s before the doors open without having a scanned ticket. When the doors open, fans will need to scan their ticket to enter Truly’s. New dining options this season include Texas Roadhouse and Big Orange Bites. For any game starting after noon ET, Truly’s will open four hours before kickoff. For a noon kickoff, the tailgate will open at 9 a.m. Truly’s will remain open throughout the match, providing fans in the South Hall with a variety of food, drink, TV entertainment and additional restroom options. Truly’s will close at the end of the third quarter.

For complete Gameday information, visit UTsports.com/gameday.

MUST KNOW

neyland at night

Friday is the 50th anniversary of the first night game at Neyland Stadium. On Sept. 16, 1972, Tennessee’s No. 7 edged Joe Paterno’s Penn State No. 6, 28-21. Saturday’s battle against the Zips will be the second night game for the Vols this season after beating Ball State, 59-10, in the season opener.

Take away food

Tennessee’s defense has forced several turnovers in three straight games since last season. They’ve had at least one interception in four straight games, which is UT’s longest streak for five straight games in 2018. The Vols have recorded four takeaways so far this season, which ranks tied ranked fourth in the SEC.

Place points
A year after setting a school record for points in a season and becoming the most improved offense in the FBS (No. 7, 39.3 ppg), Tennessee picked up where it left off. The Vols are averaging 46.5 points per game, ranking No. 1 in the SEC and No. 14 in the FBS. UT has amassed at least 30 points in five straight games. The Big Orange is averaging 492.5 yards per game of total offense this season, a mark that ranks No. 2 in the SEC and No. 23 in the FBS.

Thefts in the polls
Tennessee is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the second week in a row, while making its debut in the AFCA coaches poll. The Vols are No. 15 in AP and No. 16 in Coaches. It’s UT’s first top-15 finish since Oct. 4, 2020, when the Vols took 14th place after beating Missouri, 35-12.

Josh HeupelUCF teams were seeded a total of 27 weeks during his three seasons in Orlando. Their highest ranking during the Heupel era was No. 7 when he played in the 2018 AAC Championship Game and then the Fiesta Bowl.

UT holds two wins over the top 20 teams of the Heupel era, with both being on the road. The Vols beat No. 18/17 Kentucky, 45-42, last season at Lexington, and they edged No. 17/14 Pitt, 34-27, in overtime on Sept. 10. The win was UT’s first over an unranked road conference opponent since beating No. 6 Miami, 10-6, on Nov. 8, 2003, at Orange Bowl Stadium.



Beasley brings the boom
main linebacker Aaron Beasley was all over the court for the Vols to start the season, leading the team with 22 total tackles and ranking second in the SEC with 11.0 tackles per game. The Georgia native led all players and tied a career high with 14 tackles in Tennessee’s road win over Pitt last weekend. He also added a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and three quarterback dispatches in the win over the Panthers.

SERIES HISTORY

Tennessee leads the series, 2-0

Saturday will mark the third meeting between the Vols and the Zips. Tennessee has won in each of the previous matchups, 47-26 in 2012 and 52-9 in 1989. In those two previous meetings, UT averaged 610.5 total rushing yards. Akron is the only team the Vols have faced multiple times and are averaging over 600 rushing yards against.

ABOUT AKRON

The Zips are coached by Joe Moorhead, who is in his first season at the helm of the program after previous stints as offensive coordinator at Oregon (2020-21) and head coach at Mississippi State (2018-19). Akron enters Saturday’s game with a 1-1 record after a season-opening win over St. Francis and a road loss to Michigan State.

Redshirt junior quarterbacks DJ Irons and Jeff Undercuffler Jr. split their time under center in the Zips’ loss to the Spartans last weekend. For the year, Irons leads the team with 409 passing yards and two touchdowns while also adding 44 rushing yards. Cam Wiley, a redshirt sophomore running back, leads the team on the ground with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 31 attempts. Senior wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis was Akron’s top target in the passing game with 11 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Zips are led by redshirt senior defensive lineman Victor Jones, who has 13 tackles and leads the team with four tackles for a loss and a sack. Jalen Hooks, Tyson Durant and Zach Morton also recorded an interception for Akron that year.

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