Thursday Night Football: Vols move up opener, begin Heupel era in primetime

Orange and White Nation

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Vols and first-year head coach Josh Heupel will begin the 2021 football in primetime.

Tennessee is moving its season opener against Bowling Green to Thursday, Sept. 2. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally 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,” Tennessee athletics director Danny White said. “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.”

The contest was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4.

UT is celebrating the 100th year of football inside Neyland Stadium.

“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 just the second time. The Vols began the 2015 season with a 59-30 neutral-site win over the Falcons at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Heupel takes the reins of the Volunteers after producing a 28-8 overall record at UCF.

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