Josh Heupel's Tennessee football opener vs. Bowling Green moved to Thursday, Sept. 2
UT announced Tuesday that its season opener against Bowling Green will take place Sept. 2. It will start at 8 p.m. ET on SEC Network.
"Any time you consider moving football games to a weekday — which is rare — you want to be sensitive to out-of-town fans who have to make plans to travel to Knoxville," UT athletics director Danny White said in a school release. "In this case, the Labor Day holiday and four-month lead time should help in that regard. Sliding our opener to this Thursday primetime window gave us a wonderful opportunity for our football student-athletes to kick off their season in the national spotlight."
Tennessee has played at home on a Thursday once since 1938. UT beat Appalachian State 20-13 in overtime to open the 2016 season.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4.
"This should be a fun way to begin celebrating 100 years of Neyland Stadium while also beginning an exciting new era of Tennessee football under Josh Heupel," White said. "I cannot wait to feel the electricity as the Vols come bursting through that T on Thursday night."
Tennessee and Bowling Green are meeting for the second time. The Vols opened the 2015 season with a 59-30 neutral-site win against the Falcons in Nashville.
UT Chancellor Donde Plowman indicated in an email to students, faculty and staff that Tennessee will hold classes on Sept. 2. Parking lots will open at 3 p.m. for fans, while more details will be available in the future.
"This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase our university on a national stage and a fitting start to the centennial anniversary of Neyland Stadium, which opened in 1921," said Plowman.
Tennessee hired Heupel on Jan. 27.
Bowling Green went 0-5 in 2020.
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.