KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Some fans throw parties to support their teams. Others holler from the stands of the stadium. But in Knoxville, the Vol Navy sets sail and tailgates from a boat.
"It's setting the tone," said Peter Brodmax, a member of the Vol Navy. "Nobody else has the Vol Navy, nobody else has people who drive their boat to the football game."
Many said they gathered dockside in anticipation of what the new season has in store. Some wanted to see the start of the Josh Heupel era. Thursday's game will be the first as UT's new head football coach.
Others said that they wanted to see Joe Milton play after he won the job as quarterback following a preseason battle between sophomore Harrison Bailey and Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker.
"We want all of you p[layers to play your hardest to do your best, and that's all we ever asked," said one member of the Vol Navy. "I think we can go a long way, and go Vols!"
Some members of the game will watch the game from their boats, while others planned to head into the Neyland Stadium to watch it in person.
The kickoff is at 8 p.m. against Bowling Green. UT has only faced them once before in 2015, under then-head coach Butch Jones. Tennessee won that game, 59-30.