KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Monday-night season opener and seven games at Neyland Stadium highlight the 2017 Tennessee football schedule as released Tuesday by the Southeastern Conference.
The Vols play 12 games over 13 weeks in 2017, with the open date coming on Oct. 7, following the completion of Week Five.
In all, Tennessee plays seven games at home and four on the road, all coming after it opens the season with a neutral-site contest in the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game. Played on Monday, Sept. 4 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Vols renew a series with Georgia Tech that had lied dormant since 1987.
Tennessee is 24-17-2 all-time against the Yellow Jackets. Like UT, Georgia Tech was a founding member of the SEC, but ultimately left the league in 1964. Tennessee and GT square off 35 times in the 41 years spanning 1946 and their most recent meeting in 1987.
The Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game, with its Monday-night slot, marks the third time in the last four years that Tennessee will open the season on a non-Saturday. The Vols are 12-11-1 all-time on Monday night, last playing a regular season game on Monday when they opened the 2008 season at UCLA.
Tennessee will have a short week heading into its second game as it hosts Indiana State the following Saturday (Sept. 9) in the home-opener. The Vols and Sycamores are meeting for the first time.
On the third Saturday of September, Tennessee opens SEC play with a trip to Gainesville to face Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. That date, Sept. 16, marks UT’s earliest start to SEC play since 2012 and also heralds the return of the Tennessee-Florida rivalry to its traditionally scheduled date.
One week later, Tennessee kicks off a stretch of three consecutive home games when it plays host to UMass on Sept. 23. A home meeting with Georgia follows on Sept. 30 and South Carolina visits Neyland Stadium on Oct. 14, following the Vols’ bye week.
The back half of the schedule sees Tennessee play a stretch of three road games over four weeks, visiting Alabama on the third Saturday of October (Oct. 21) and Kentucky the following week (Oct. 28). The Vols play their final non-conference game on Nov. 4 when the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss come to Knoxville ahead of a final road test at Missouri on Nov. 11.
LSU lands on Tennessee’s schedule for the first time since 2011 and will visit Knoxville on Nov. 18. The regular season comes to a close on Nov. 25 with UT playing host to in-state rival Vanderbilt.
The 2017 season will culminate with the first SEC Championship Game to be played in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, December 2. It will be the 26th edition of the game and the 24th in the city of Atlanta.
Information regarding game times and television broadcast assignments will be released during Summer 2017.