Tennessee Opens As Favorites At Pittsburgh

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    Tennessee Bowl

    Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee and Pittsburgh each got their seasons started on Thursday night and are now in the midst of their nine days of preparation for round two of the Johnny Majors Classic.

    The Vols opened as 4.5-point favorites over Pitt Friday night according to FanDuel. The inaugural over/under is set at 59.5.

    Tennessee is looking for revenge after falling to Pitt, 41-34, in round one of the Johnny Majors Classics last September in Knoxville.

    The week two matchup of the 2021 season proved to be Hendon Hooker’s coming out party after replacing an injured Joe Milton III early in the second quarter. Hooker impressed in the come back effort but a critical fourth quarter interception — one of three he threw on the season — ended Tennessee’s comeback bid.

    More From RTI: Tennessee Lying Low After Season Opening Win

    Tennessee opened its season with a, 59-10, blowout victory over Ball State Thursday while Pitt outlasted arch rival West Virginia, 38-31, in the return of the backyard brawl.

    The Panthers trailed by seven points midway through the fourth quarter but a game tying touchdown and a go-ahead pick six lifted the Panthers to the win. Despite the come from behind victory, Pitt failed to cover the 7.5-point spread while the over hit.

    Tennessee covered the 35.5-point spread against Ball State while the 66.5-point over hit.

    Kick off between the Vols and Panthers is at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Pitt’s Acrisure Stadium.

    Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.