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Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee defensive lineman Omari Thomas brings down Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh during last season's 41-17 homecoming loss in Knoxville. A year after the eventual national champion served as the homecoming foe for the Volunteers, UT Martin will have that role in October.

Last November, Tennessee welcomed eventual national champion Georgia to Neyland Stadium as its homecoming foe.

UT Martin will be filling that role later this year.

Tennessee announced Wednesday that the Oct. 22 date against the Skyhawks of the Ohio Valley Conference will serve as homecoming. The Volunteers fell 41-17 to the Bulldogs last season, which ended Tennessee's streak of six straight homecoming triumphs that followed a 55-23 loss in 2013 to Auburn, which played Florida State for that year's national title.

There were no college football homecoming games in 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Tennessee and UT Martin have met once before, with the 2010 Vols cruising to a 50-0 victory in the debut game of the three-year Derek Dooley era. The Skyhawks are coming off a 10-3 season in which they won the OVC and qualified for the FCS playoffs, where they prevailed 32-31 at No. 10 Missouri State before losing 26-7 at No. 8 Montana State.

The Vols will not only celebrate homecoming on Oct. 22 but will recognize the 50-year anniversary of Title IX. The late Pat Summitt, who guided Tennessee to eight national championships in women's basketball, was a UT Martin graduate.

Tennessee also announced Wednesday that its annual Salute to Service game honoring our nation's service members, veterans and their families will take place when Missouri visits Nov. 12. That contest will also serve as Senior Day, as the Vols close out their 2022 season with trips to South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

This will be the earliest home finale for Tennessee since Nov. 12, 1927, when the Vols tied Vandy 7-7. Tennessee finished 8-0-1 that season and won the Southern Conference title, as the dawn of the Southeastern Conference football was still six years away.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com.

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