All eyes will be on the Tennessee football program on Thursday, Sept. 1st as they open the 2022 season in Knoxville. For the second consecutive year, Josh Heupel and the Vols will play their first game of the season on a Thursday night, this time against Ball State at 7pm ET on the SEC Network.
That evening will also be the unveiling of newly-renovated Neyland Stadium, a renovation which is still in the works. The stadium will have a new club area in the upper deck, a new video board, and new chair-back seating in the lower west portion of the stadium. The Thursday night game will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first Tennessee night game.
This schedule change will ruffle a few feathers though, just as it did last season. A number of fans cannot make the trip on a Thursday, and the stadium wasn’t near capacity in 2021. It will be interesting to see how fans respond this year.
It should be noted that Pittsburgh, Tennessee’s week-two opponent, is scheduled to open the season on the same night. Tennessee and Ball State were originally scheduled to meet on Saturday, September 3rd, but Tennessee decided they’d like a primetime night game to open the season, again.
It will be the first time these two schools will have met in football.
Missouri has also moved its opening game to Thursday, September 1st. They will take on Louisiana Tech.