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Need to know: Tennessee's home opener vs. Georgia State

It's time for Rocky Top, the Vol Walk, tailgating and Smokey!!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's finally football time in Tennessee!!

The Vols will kick off the 2019 season on Saturday, Aug. 31 against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

The Big Orange has been dominant when opening the year at home. UT has won 20 straight season openers played at Neyland Stadium and is unbeaten in the last 22 home season openers dating back to 1984.

There's a lot of excitement and anticipation for the Vols in Jeremy Pruitt's second season. Pruitt made some big hires on his coaching staff, bringing back #VFL Tee Martin and Jim Chaney to handle the offense.

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The Panthers play in the Sun Belt Conference. The two teams have met only once, in 2012, when Tennessee defeated the Panthers in Knoxville 51-13.

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There are still tickets available for the game.

Gameday Activities

Volunteer Village offers pregame festivities from noon to 3 p.m. for fans of all ages. Located in the Humanities Plaza, Volunteer Village features pregame appearances from Smokey, Junior Smokey, cheerleaders and UT’s dance team.

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The Vol Walk will start at 1:15 p.m. (2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff) at Torchbearer Plaza on Volunteer Boulevard as the members of the football team proceed down Peyton Manning Pass to the stadium.

The Pride of the Southland Band will begin marching at 1:50. The band marches up Volunteer Boulevard past Peyton Manning Pass and crosses the new Pedestrian Bridge before turning onto Middle Drive and then onto Phillip Fulmer Way, stopping to "Salute the Hill" before marching into the stadium through Gate 21

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The Vol Network's Kickoff Call-In Show, hosted by Bob Kesling and Tim Priest, begins 90 minutes before kickoff and airs on the Vol Radio Network. You can watch the broadcast live from the Gate 21 Plaza at the northwest corner of Phillip Fulmer Way and Andy Holt Boulevard, or participate by calling 1 (800) 688-865

Stadium Security

UT implemented a bag policy a couple of seasons ago that fans should be prepared for.

Only one clear plastic bag, no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, or a one-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bag will be allowed. Fans can also carry a small clutch purse, not larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Those bags are still subject to search at the gates, but UT hopes this will make getting into the stadium a little quicker.

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Fans can bring an empty clear plastic water bottle into the stadium. Complimentary water will be available from large tanks in the concourse areas.

Smoking is prohibited at UT, including within private vehicles parked or operated on university property. The prohibition extends to any lighted tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or other vape devices.

Other prohibited items:

  • Alcoholic beverages, cans, bottles and coolers
  • Outside food, snacks and beverages
  • Radios without headphones
  • Open umbrellas
  • Video cameras, professional cameras or cameras with detachable lenses
  • Stadium seats with arms or pockets
  • Weapons of any kind, including pocket knives
  • Selfie sticks
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Drones

What is allowed, with restrictions:

  • Cushions or seats without arms or pockets
  • Small bags with medically necessary items, subject to search (Note: Diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children must be carried in a clear bag.)
  • Small cameras, cell phones and binoculars
  • One empty, clear plastic water bottle
  • Get more info on what's allowed in Neyland Stadium here.

Parking and Traffic

Fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Only fans with permits can park on campus. UT encourages others to use KAT shuttle buses from the Old City, the Knoxville Civic Coliseum and Krutch Park, near Market Square in downtown Knoxville and Farragut High School. A free shuttle is available at the Ag campus.

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Phillip Fulmer Way will close to through traffic from Middle Drive to Tee Martin Drive three hours before kickoff.

Peyton Manning Pass will also close three hours before kickoff. People with parking passes for Lot 9 and 9B must enter via Cumberland Avenue to Phillip Fulmer Way if arriving after the road closure.

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Thirty minutes before kickoff, the remainder of Phillip Fulmer Way will be closed. For an interactive campus map, visit here. G10T permit holders arriving after the road closure will be redirected to another lot at the discretion of gameday management. Lot 4 and 5 permit holders must arrive prior to the road closure to be able to park in those lots.

The latest information on campus construction can be found here, and more parking information is available here.

Fans are encouraged to follow @UTGameday on Twitter or visit UTSports.com/gameday for the latest updates on traffic, weather, gate information and game day events.

Ridesharing and scooters

If you are taking an Uber, Lyft or using another ride-sharing option, plan on being dropped off in front of the College of Nursing building, located at 1200 Volunteer Boulevard.

To be picked up after the game, the only authorized location is at Circle Drive at Cumberland Avenue, on the north side of the Hill.

As for scooters, they'll be a no-no. UT said for pedestrian safety, all rentable electric scooters approved by the City of Knoxville, the VeoRide and Spin, will be disabled and removed from campus before each home game.