published Monday, August 25th, 2014

College Blitz: Vols 2014 Schedule

Aug. 31 vs. Utah State

7 p.m., Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: SEC Network/106.5 FM

Series history: First meeting

Best game in series: UT has won 19 straight home openers with a margin of victory of 31.6 points in the last 10, but the Aggies will put up a greater challenge than the likes of Austin Peay and Georgia State. USU was 9-5 in 2013 under Matt Wells after an 11-win season in 2012 under Gary Andersen, now at Wisconsin. Chuckie Keeton is the type of dynamic dual-threat quarterback who killed the Vols in 2013, but he’s coming off an ACL injury.

Sept. 6 vs. Arkansas State

Noon, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: SEC Network/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 1-0

Best game in series: The only meeting was in 2007, when Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-27 win. The Red Wolves went 27-10 in the last three seasons, but Blake Anderson will be the program’s fourth coach in four seasons. The others — Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and Brian Harsin (Boise State) — left Jonesboro for bigger jobs.

Sept. 13 at Oklahoma

8 pm., Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.

TV/Radio: ABC, ESPN or ESPN2/106.5 FM

Series history: Tied 1-1

Best game in series: Tennessee and Oklahoma split a pair of Orange Bowls, the Vols winning 17-0 in 1938 and the Sooners prevailing in 1968 by a 26-24 score after UT’s Karl Kremser missed a winning 43-yard field goal wide right with seven seconds left. In 16 seasons at OU, Bob Stoops is a gaudy 87-5 at home. Tennessee coach Butch Jones faced Stoops and the Sooners in his first season at Cincinnati in 2010, losing 31-29

Sept. 27 at Georgia

Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 21-20-2

Best game in series: The Vols haven’t won in Athens since 2006, when they rallied from a 24-7 first-half deficit and erupted in the second half for a 51-33 win. Arian Foster scored three touchdowns, and Antonio Wardlow landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated by recovering a blocked punt in the end zone for another score. This will be the first time since 2001 the Vols have opened SEC against someone not named Florida.

Oct. 4 vs. Florida

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Florida leads 24-19

Best game in series: It might have been Tennessee’s last win in the series, way back in 2004, when the Vols’ current freshman class was in the second grade. The Vols and Gators went back and forth all night, and after missing a tying extra point, James Wilhoit kicked a 50-yard field with six seconds left to win it for Tennessee. Florida has won the nine meetings since.

Oct. 11 vs. UT-Chattanooga

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 37-2-2

Best game in series: The two in-system programs haven’t met since 1969, when Tennessee blanked the Mocs 31-0. UTC, known then as U.S. Grant University, beat the Vols 5-0 — no, seriously — in 1905, and the two tied in both 1909 and 1910. The Mocs upset Tennessee 14-6 in 1958 — two seasons after the Vols won the SEC.

Oct. 18 at Ole Miss

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 44-19-1

Best game in series: As far as individual performances, it’s hard to go against Dexter McCluster, who torched Tennessee to the tune of 282 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in the Vols’ last visit to Oxford in 2009. A decade ago, Ainge threw the winning touchdown to Bret Smith with 6:58 to go in a 21-17 win against former UT assistant David Cutcliffe in Oxford. The Vols have won 13 of 14 against the Rebels.

Oct. 25 vs. Alabama

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Alabama leads 51-38-7

Best game in series: This longtime rivalry provides plenty of options, but the wild five-overtime thriller in 2003 in Tuscaloosa is up there. Tennessee looked done in the second overtime, but Casey Clausen hit C.J. Fayton for a first down on fourth-and-19, and the Vols went on to win 51-43. Tennessee has not won there since, and Alabama will go for its eighth straight win in the series.

Nov. 1 at South Carolina

Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 23-7-2

Best game in series: Nine of the last 14 meetings dating back to 2000 have been decided by eight points or less. Last season, Marquez North’s 36-yard catch set up Michael Palardy’s winning field goal as time expired as Tennessee won its first game against a ranked opponent since 2009. Two years ago, Jadeveon Clowney’s late strip-sack of Tyler Bray preserved a 38-35 Carolina win.

Nov. 15 vs. Kentucky

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 76-24-9

Best game in series: For the Wildcats, it’s easily the 10-7 upset of Derek Dooley’s Vols in 2011, when Kentucky snapped a 26-game losing streak to Tennessee. Overall, it’s likely the quadruple-overtime 2007 game in Lexington. Dan Williams blocked a Kentucky field-goal try in the second overtime, and Tennessee won 52-50 to clinch its most recent trip to the SEC championship game.

Nov. 22 vs. Missouri

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Missouri leads 2-0

Best game in series: The Tigers delivered the penultimate nail in Coach Dooley’s coffin in 2012 with a 51-48 four-overtime win. The Vols blew a 14-point third-quarter lead and allowed the tying touchdown on a fourth-and-12 with 47 seconds left. The Tigers surprisingly won the SEC East and went 12-2 last season after a disappointing 5-7 season in 2012.

Nov. 29 at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

Series history: Tennessee leads 73-29-5

Best game in series: Two of the last three have come down to the very end, the 41-18 whipping that ended Dooley’s tenure notwithstanding. In 2011, Nashville’s own Eric Gordon returned an interception in overtime to give the Vols a walk-off win in Knoxville. Last season, Patton Robinette, from nearby Maryville, scored the winning touchdown for the Commodores with 16 seconds left.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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