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Vols To Open 2017 Against Georgia Tech in CFA Kickoff Game

(via the Falcons)
(via the Falcons)

Tennessee’s 2017 non-conference schedule is tentatively set as the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game confirmed on Monday morning that the Vols will take on Georgia Tech on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 to open the 2017 season in a primetime game that will be held at the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium that is currently under construction. The game will be televised on ESPN.

“With Georgia Tech and Tennessee, you’re talking about two powerhouse programs that we expect to be ranked in the top 25 coming in to the game,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO, in a news release. “We’re looking at a sure sellout and a lot of anticipation for a matchup like this.”

Tennessee leads the all-time series against Georgia Tech 24-17-2. The two programs overlapped in both the Southern Conference and the SEC before GT departed the SEC for good in 1964. The two programs last met in 1987, with Tennessee pulling out a 29-15 victory in that contest.

This will mark Tennessee’s second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game after the Vols defeated North Carolina State 35-21 to open the 2012 season under former coach Derek Dooley. The 2017 Kickoff Weekend, which will also include a matchup of Alabama and Florida State on Saturday night, will mark the 10th year for the event, which averages over 66,000 fans per game and pays out $4.3 million on average to its participating teams. The 2017 version will be the third time that multiple games will be held on the same weekend and the first one to be played in what is currently known as the New Atlanta Stadium.

“We are looking forward to and are very excited to open the 2017 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said in a news release “It will be a great opportunity for our program to play in a new state-of-the-art facility while playing on a national stage. The state of Georgia is very important to us in recruiting footprint, and that coupled with our alumni base and passionate fans, will make for a very exciting experience.”

Georgia Tech is currently coached by Paul Johnson, known for his triple-option offensive attack. The Yellow Jackets are coming off one of their best seasons in recent history in 2014 that included an 11-3 record, a Coastal division crown and wins over Georgia and an Orange Bowl victory over Mississippi State. Entering the 2015 season, Johnson is 58-35 (37-19 ACC) in eight years at Tech.

Tennessee’s 2017 non-conference schedule includes this neutral-site game against Georgia Tech (though it will be played in GT’s home city of Atlanta) and home games against Southern Mississippi (Sept. 16), Indiana State (Sept. 23) and UMass (Nov. 4), according to FBSSchedules.com. Tennessee will also play home games against Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, and road games against Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Florida in 2017, though the dates for those games won’t be released until a later time.

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