KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The countdown to kickoff for the inaugural Johnny Majors Classic is winding down, and Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel met with the media Thursday morning to talk about the team and upcoming matchup with Pitt.
Kickoff is set for noon at Neyland Stadium, and it will be a day filled with honoring the late legend Johnny Majors, who spent time leading both programs. Coach Heupel is looking forward to honoring Majors and announced VFL All-American, and his brother, Bobby Majors will be at Neyland to help kick the classic off.
“Earlier today I got a chance to talk to Bobby and looking forward to having him here and being able to celebrate this kickoff classic with Johnny Majors recognizing him, and his family along with his efforts and what they’ve meant to Tennessee football. So excited to have him here this weekend and be a part of our coin toss and that celebration. Looking forward to kickoff, guys are excited. It’s time to go play,” Heupel said.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between the Panthers and Vols in 38 years, and the two programs won’t have a long wait to meet again as they’re set for the second Johnny Majors Classic on Sept. 10, 2022, on Heinz Field.
The status of the Vols’ leading rusher from week one is unclear at this time for Saturday’s matchup. Heupel was asked on Wednesday during the SEC teleconference if running back Tiyon Evans would be available on Saturday, and was noncommittal in his answer, saying injuries will be addressed later in the week and as kickoff gets closer.
“I don’t have any comment on our guys, injury, or where they’re at. Like I said, we always show up and make those determinations on Saturday. We’re still a long ways away from kickoff,” Heupel said.
Evans rushed for 120 yards on 16 carries and recorded a touchdown while averaging seven yards per carry in the season opener against Bowling Green.
Heupel did address center Cooper Mays’ status who left Thursday’s game with an injury and said Mays has made progress the past couple of days and they will also find out Saturday morning whether he’s a go or not to play.