Tennessee has a game to prepare for this weekend when they take on No. 3 Georgia in Neyland Stadium. But next weekend, the Vols will be hosting a team inside their own conference they haven’t played in seven years, and now fans know when and where they can watch the game.
It was announced on Monday that Tennessee (1-3, 0-1 SEC) and Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1 SEC) will kick-off at noon Eastern on Saturday, October 12th in Knoxville. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Despite playing in the same conference, the Vols and Bulldogs haven’t played each other since 2012. Back then, Tennessee was led by Derek Dooley as head coach, and Mississippi State had a fourth-year head coach at the helm in Dan Mullen.
Now, Dooley is the offensive coordinator at Missouri, and Mullen went on to coach five more seasons at State before taking the head coaching position at Florida in 2018.
Tennessee lost the last time these two teams played, falling on the road 41-31 in the infamous “Dooley wheelchair” game. The Vols and Bulldogs have only played eight times since the SEC split into divisions in 1992, and Tennessee is 6-2 against the Bulldogs in that span, including a 24-14 victory in the SEC Championship Game in 1998. All-time, the Vols are 28-16-1 against Mississippi State.
This season, neither team has gotten off to the start they were envisioning before the season began.
The Vols have, of course, fallen to Georgia State, BYU, and Florida to start the year, with their only win thus far in 2019 coming against FCS opponent UT-Chattanooga. Mississippi State, meanwhile, has been dealing with injuries to their starting quarterback, Tommy Stevens, and have stumbled in two of their last three games. After beating Louisiana and Southern Miss to start the season, the Bulldogs fell to Kansas State 31-24, beat Kentucky 28-13, then lost to No. 7 Auburn 56-23 over the weekend.
Mississippi State has a bye week this weekend while the Vols have to play No. 3 Georgia.