Record number attends UT's Orange and White spring footba

Record number attends UT's Orange and White spring football game

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UT officials say 61,076 people attended the annual spring faceoff, which is the second largest attendance for an Orange and White game in school history. UT officials say 61,076 people attended the annual spring faceoff, which is the second largest attendance for an Orange and White game in school history.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A record number of Tennessee Vol fans filled Neyland Stadium Saturday for the Orange and White game.

UT officials say 61,076 people attended the annual spring faceoff, which is the second largest attendance for an Orange and White game in school history.

Fans say they're feeling more excited than they have in years, so eager for a winning season, they can already taste it.

The volunteer faithful broke out their best orange and white gear Saturday, splashing the colors of UT all over campus, and brightening up Neyland Stadium.

"We love the Vols, that's for sure. Been a fan since the early 50's and still a fan," said fan Tommy Baker of Jefferson City, tailgating with friends and family before the game.

Many in attendance are lifelong Tennessee fans, who say the last few losing seasons have been hard to watch.

"I'd rather not talk about that. I'm afraid I might say something that I shouldn't," said Baker, laughing.

Last season especially took the wind out of fan's sails.

But there was a new energy in the atmosphere Saturday amongst fans. That old excitement is back.

"Everyone has a common goal. To see UT have some success," said fan Michael Greene of Knoxville.

"It seems to be more pumped this year than it has in years past. It's great to see," said fan Joy Stults, sitting in the stands with her family.

Fans say getting a new coach has given them a reason to cheer again.

"Today is a shining example of what Coach Jones has been able to do in terms of getting the fan base back together and believing again," said Greene.

"This year is a little special. We hope that the Tennessee tradition that we know and have had in the past will in some way get started back up again," said Baker.

Hopes are high this could be the year things will turn around for Tennessee football.

"Rationality would tell you that you need to temper your expectations. Tennessee has a really tough schedule, but I think Tennessee is probably looking at a seven win season. I think that would be a tremendous success for them going forward," said Greene.

Even though the official start of the season is still months away, the football team was shown at the Orange and White game just how much fans are already behind them.

"Not only relive the good ole days but talk about how things are going to be moving forward," said Greene.

The 2013 season kicks off August 31 in Knoxville, when the Vols play Austin Peay.

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