The Gators have won the last 16 of 17 matchups against the Vols, but many are feeling good about snapping the losing streak Saturday. Some Vol fans even arrived in Knoxville early to get a head start for the big weekend.
“I like Heupel,” Anthony Henson said. “Josh has done a good job. We got to win tomorrow. We got to win at LSU and then we’ll see what happens.”
Some fans travel to Tennessee football games in style. Many park their RVs and campers at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum garages.
Mike Ferrell is a Vols fan living in Florida and got to town on Wednesday.
“It’s not easy. We’re surrounded by gators down there. It’s kind of a long drive especially in this RV so we’re just coming to one and this is the one we wanted to go to. This is our big game.” said Ferrell.
UT alumnus Jeff McCoy is camping out in his RV this weekend for the Vols game too despite living just down the road in Lenoir City.
“It’s being part of the atmosphere,” McCoy said. “Being a part of the excitement here and you can get some of that on your couch but at the end of the day this is where it’s happening, so this is where you want to be.”
For RV owners, they say utilizing them for football games has its advantages.
Ferrell said, “It’s the hotel. You cook your own food and you’re here with your friends.”
“We stay every home game,” Henson said. He lives in Alabama and explained, “It’s about a four-hour trek for us. We drive our motor home up here, plug up, and have all the comforts of home. Within walking distance of everything and we have a great time.”
While campers wait for kickoff, Andy Cintillo will be serving up some blackened gator at the lots.
He said, “Yeah, I’m the gator guy. My wife and I, we ran Bayou Bay Seafood House down in South Knoxville here for about 30 years and some friends asked me to come up here and cook them some gator. Feel like we got the best opportunity to get them gators this weekend. Hopefully, we start a good streak going in the right direction.”
There are still some RV parking spots available at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum garages throughout the football season.