UT: 2012 schedule

UT: 2012 schedule

August 26th, 2012 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

The University of Tennessee football team enters the field at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Staff File Photo

Tennessee beat writer Patrick Brown looks at the Vols' 2012 schedule.

Aug. 31 vs. N.C. State

7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV/Radio: ESPNU/106.5 FM

History: The series is tied 1-1. UT won 13-0 in their last meeting - also on a Friday - in 1939.

Opponent's platform: The Vols' potentially prolific passing game faces Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson, who led the country with 13 interceptions last year as a sophomore and could be a first-round NFL draft pick in April if he declares. Quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 3,054 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2011 as N.C. State won six of its last eight games. It's UT's first regular-season game against an ACC school since 2003.

Sept. 8 Georgia State

4 p.m. at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: Pay-per-view/106.5 FM

History: First meeting

Opponent's platform: The FCS Panthers, led by former Alabama and Kentucky coach and ESPN analyst Bill Curry, are in just their third year of football. Georgia State went 3-8 in 2011 and lost by 56 at Alabama in 2010. UT has won its last 17 home openers.

Sept. 15 Florida

6 p.m. at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: ESPN/106.5 FM

History: Florida leads the series 22-19 and hasn't lost to UT since 2004.

Opponent's platform: Like the Vols, the Gators, who were 7-6 in 2011, are coached by a former Nick Saban assistant in Will Muschamp. With a new quarterback and unproven skill players, Florida will rely on its fast, athletic defense. It's the first time since 1994 that this game won't be televised by CBS, and unlike previous years, Florida faces a tough test before the Vols - it visits Texas A&M on Sept. 8.

Sept. 22 Akron

TBA at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT won the only previous meeting 52-9 in 1989.

Opponent's platform: The Zips' new coach is Terry Bowden, the former Auburn coach who spent the last three seasons at Division II North Alabama. Akron returns 14 starters from a 1-11 team that went winless in the MAC last season. It's UT's fourth opponent from that league since 2008.

Sept. 29 at Georgia

TBA at Sanford Stadium, Athens

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT leads the series 21-18-2 but hasn't won in Athens since 2006 and enters this meeting on a two-game losing streak.

Opponent's platform: The Bulldogs are one of the favorites in the SEC's East Division, and their hopes rely on a talented defense and quarterback Aaron Murray. Georgia held UT to minus-21 yards rushing in last season's 20-12 win in Knoxville. The teams haven't played in September since 1995.

Oct. 13 at Mississippi State

TBA at Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT leads the series 28-15-1 and have won the past six meetings.

Opponent's platform: The Vols hammered MSU 34-3 in Knoxville in the teams' last meeting in 2008, but the Bulldogs have been to bowl games two of the three seasons. MSU is winless against SEC West teams not named Ole Miss under fourth-year coach Dan Mullen, but it's gone 6-3 against East Division opponents the past three seasons. The Bulldogs return 12 starters.

Oct. 20 Alabama

TBA at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: Alabama leads the series 49-38-7 and has a two-game win streak in Knoxville.

Opponent's platform: One of the SEC's longest-running series is back on its traditional Third Saturday in October, but it's hardly been an even rivalry since Nick Saban took over at Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won the past five meetings by an average of three touchdowns. The defending national champions are ranked in the top five in most national preseason polls.

Oct. 27 at South Carolina

TBA at Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT leads 22-6-2, but the Gamecocks have won three of the last four.

Opponent's platform: Another one of the preseason favorites in the SEC East, South Carolina is coming off a school-record 11 wins. Eighth-year head coach Steve Spurrier always seems to have UT's number. How well tailback Marcus Lattimore returns from a serious knee injury could determine the Gamecocks' success.

Nov. 3 Troy

TBA at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: First meeting

Opponent's platform: The Vols continue a recent trend of playing Sun Belt Conference teams. UT is 7-1 all-time against the Sun Belt, with three of those wins coming in the past five seasons. Troy, which went 3-9 last year, is in its 22nd season under coach Larry Blakeney.

Nov. 10 Missouri

TBA at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: First meeting. Missouri is in its first season in the SEC after moving from the Big 12.

Opponent's platform: A recent success in the Big 12, Missouri will play the seventh league game of its first SEC season when it visits Knoxville for the first time. The Tigers return 15 starters from 2011's team, which went 8-5 and beat North Carolina in the Independence Bowl. Quarterback James Franklin is the key cog in Missouri's up-tempo spread offense.

Nov. 17 at Vanderbilt

TBA at Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT leads the series 73-27-5, and Vanderbilt has beaten UT just once since 1983.

Opponent's platform: James Franklin's arrival at Vanderbilt has turned up the mutual disdain in this in-state battle, but even the Commodores' second-year coach has said his team must win to make it a true rivalry. Vanderbilt has been to as many bowls as the Vols since 2008. The Commodores return 19 starters, including its top passer, rusher and receiver from 2011.

Nov. 24 Kentucky

TBA at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville

TV/Radio: TBA/106.5 FM

History: UT leads the series 75-23-9.

Opponent's platform: The Vols will try to start a new streak against their border rivals 363 days after that infamous afternoon in Lexington last November. Playing a receiver at quarterback, the Wildcats outplayed UT in a 10-7 win as Kentucky snapped a 26-game losing streak. After five consecutive bowl appearances, Kentucky went 5-7 last year and returns just 11 starters from that team.