Tennessee Football Preview: Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Visit Neyland Stadium

Friday, October 15, 2021

Fresh off two dominant performances in wins over Missouri and South Carolina, Tennessee will look to keep things rolling in a primetime clash against No. 13 Ole Miss on Saturday night inside a sold out Neyland Stadium.

The Vols announced the return of #CheckerNeyland to set the stage for one of the most anticipated games of the season. Find your color by visiting CheckerNeyland.com.


Saturday's game will be televised by the SEC Network with Tom Hart (PxP), Jordan Rodgers (analyst) and Cole Cubelic (sideline) on the call.

Kickoff is slated for 7:39 p.m. ET.

The game is also available to stream through the ESPN App on your connected streaming device and on ESPN.com.

Fans can listen to Tennessee's official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 137, XM Ch. 190, Internet Ch. 961). A live audio stream of the broadcast will also be available on UTSports.com and the Official Gameday App.

Bob Kesling (PxP), Pat Ryan (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg handling sideline duties. Big Orange Countdown begins at 6 p.m. ET.


For the most up-to-date information on Tennessee's 2021 gameday policies, please visit the Tennessee Football Gameday Information page on UTSports.com. Some important information is also listed below.

Tickets and Parking
Tennessee Athletics sold out of tickets on Tuesday afternoon, marking the program's first sellout since the Georgia game on Sept. 30, 2017. 

While Tennessee Athletics does not control prices of any tickets obtained via the secondary market, Vol fans are reminded that Vivid Seats is the only secondary marketplace with a 100 percent buyer guarantee on the validity of tickets for Tennessee home games.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates to Neyland Stadium open at 5:30 p.m. Fans with digital tickets are strongly encouraged to download them to their mobile devices before arriving on campus. Those with a parking permit, either printed or mobile, are asked to have their permit ready to display upon entering their parking lot.

To expedite entry into the stadium, it is recommended that each individual hold their own ticket to optimize scanning procedures. All tickets will be electronically scanned to verify authenticity. Tickets will be scanned as patrons enter the stadium, and once a ticket has been scanned, it cannot be reused by another guest.

For more information on electronic tickets, view the Mobile Tickets Video or visit our Mobile Delivery FAQ page.

Tennessee Athletics App
Fans are encouraged to download the Tennessee Athletics app, which now houses the Coca-Cola GBO Zone, allowing fans to play trivia, take part in a light show and much more. Search "Tennessee Athletics" in the Apple or Google Play Store or use this link to download: http://utsports.com/app


Fan Experience Upgrades
With this year being the 100th season at Neyland Stadium, Shield-Watkins Field, Tennessee Athletics has unveiled several new, exciting fan experience enhancements for the 2021 football season. Among the new gameday enhancements are new LED stadium lights, ungraded fireworks and "I Will Give My All" signs throughout the stadium.

More info on all of the new gameday enhancements can be found HERE.

LED Lights: A vibrant, state-of-the-art LED lighting system has been installed inside Neyland Stadium. A dramatic LED light show will accentuate pregame and in-game festivities. The pregame light show will take place 20 minutes prior to kickoff on Saturday.

Fireworks: The traditional fireworks show is moving and now bigger than ever. Fireworks will now be showcased from the roof of the north end zone and the east and west skybox rooftops during pregame and following UT touchdowns and victories.

"I Will Give My All": As fans make their way to their seats, they can participate in a similar tradition as the Volunteers who take the field. "I Will Give My All" signs have been installed above the portals entering each section of Neyland Stadium. Just as the team is reminded to "Give My All" before running through the T pregame, each fan entering the stadium is encouraged to do the same.

Toyota Vol Village: Make sure you visit Vol Village presented by Toyota for a whole new fan experience. It's FREE for all fans with or without a game ticket. There will be live music, activities for everyone of all ages, food trucks, and more. Vol Village, located in a great spot to see the Vol Walk and the Band March is just across from Circle Park. The Toyota Vol Village on Oct. 16 will feature musical artist Chelsea Berry, face painting, mini golf, a photo booth, tailgate games and much more! Fans can stop by from 4-7 p.m.

Truly's Tailgate: Truly's Tailgate, located outside Gate 9 will open at 3:30 p.m. and stay open through the end of the third quarter. Any fans with tickets to the game can stop by for food and drinks during that time.
On-Field Recognitions: There will be a handful of on-field recognitions throughout Saturday's contest. Members of the Tennessee track and field team who took part in the Summer Olympics in Toyoko will be honored pregame. The 2021 Tennessee baseball College World Series team will be honored at the end of the first quarter. Lastly, former Lady Vol swimmer Erika Brown will be recognized in the second quarter for winning a Silver medal in the Toyoko Summer Olympics.


Neyland at Night
It will be a raucous environment on Saturday night inside a sold out Neyland Stadium as the Vols host their first home night game in SEC play since Oct. 5, 2019, against Georgia. UT has played three consecutive noon contests at home and Saturday's showdown with the Rebels is the first of four consecutive games against top-15 ranked opponents for the Big Orange. The Vols sit in third place in the SEC East standings, while Ole Miss is one of three teams at 1-1 in a tie for second in the SEC West standings entering the game.
First Quarter Dominance
UT has outscored opponents by an incredible 101-13 margin in the first quarter this season. The only team to score a touchdown on the Vols in the first quarter in six games this season was Florida.

Tennessee has put up back-to-back 28-point first quarters for the first time in modern program history, doing so at Missouri and then last Saturday against South Carolina. The Vols are the first FBS team to achieve that feat vs. FBS opponents since Louisville did it during the first two weeks of the 2016 season, scoring 28 vs. Charlotte (Sept. 1) and 28 at Syracuse (Sept. 9). Tennessee is the first FBS team to put up multiple 28-point or more first quarters vs. FBS opponents in the same season since Josh Heupel's UCF team did it in 2019.

Lighting Up the Scoreboard
With 249 points, Tennessee has already eclipsed its entire point total of 2020 (215 in 10 games). That tally is the most through the first six games of a season at UT since the 1990 SEC Championship team scored 253. The Vols' 249 points rank sixth in the FBS and second in the SEC (Alabama 266). UT is averaging 41.5 points per game, good for seventh in the FBS.

In SEC-only games, the Vols are putting up 40.3 points per game, which is second in the conference. In five of the six games under Heupel, the Vols have scored 30+ points. Only two coaches in UT history have achieved that feat - Heupel and Phillip Fulmer (1992-93). Heupel is the only coach in Vol history to score 40+ points in three of the first six games of a Tennessee tenure.

Face Paced Offenses
Saturday's game matches the Power Five's two most up-tempo offenses. Ole Miss is averaging 2.89 offensive plays per minute (No. 2 FBS), while UT puts up 2.87 plays per minute (No. 3 FBS). Utah State leads the FBS at 2.93. The Rebels and Vols are averaging 1.75 and 1.58 points per minute, respectively, which ranks second and third in the FBS. Ohio State leads the way at 1.83. UT averages 75.17 plays per game (20th in the FBS and second in the SEC). From 2018-20, Heupel's UCF teams averaged a nation-high 3.04 plays per minute. The next closest was 2.78 by Wake Forest during that span. Heupel's UCF squads averaged 79.97 plays per game.

Hendo Cinco
Hooker has taken control of Tennessee's quarterback position in recent weeks. The graduate transfer from Virginia Tech has thrown multiple touchdown passes in five straight games for the first time in his career. He's thrown 13 touchdown passes to only one interception during that span. Hooker the first UT quarterback to throw multiple TD passes in five straight games since Tyler Bray did it in six straight games to begin the 2012 season. The Greensboro, North Carolina, native's 185.89 quarterback rating in 2021 ranks fifth in the FBS and first in the SEC.


Vols lead series, 44-20-1
Tennessee and Ole Miss are meeting for the 66th time and first time Oct. 18, 2014, when the Rebels won 34-3 in Oxford. The Vols lead the series, 44-20-1, and have won 13 out of the last 15 meetings. The two teams are meeting for the first time in Knoxville in 11 years when UT beat Ole Miss, 52-14, on Nov. 13, 2010, in Derek Dooley's first season. This is the first of back-to-back weeks vs. SEC West foes for the Vols.


Ole Miss enters this Saturday's contest ranked No. 13 nationally in the AP Poll after a 4-1 start to the season. The Rebels held on for a 52-51 victory over No. 13 Arkansas last weekend to improve to 1-1 in SEC play. Mississippi is led by second-year head coach Lane Kiffin, who is 9-6 over since taking over the program prior to the 2020 season.

The Rebels are one of the nation's top offensive teams, leading the SEC and ranking fourth nationally in scoring offense at 46.2 points per game. Their 561.6 yards per game ranks second in the FBS behind Ohio State (562.7 ypg). The Ole Miss is led by junior dual-threat quarterback Matt Corral, who ranks sixth in the nation and second in the conference in total offense, accounting for 350.4 yards per game. Corral has accounted for 20 total touchdowns (12 passing, 8 rushing) and has not committed a turnover yet this year. Corral's top target in the passing game has been senior wideout Dontario Drummond, who leads the team with 26 receptions, 460 receiving yards and five touchdown catches.

While they have given up yards, the Rebels have been opportunistic on defense this season, leading the SEC with a plus-five turnover margin. They are led by senior linebacker Chase Campbell, who is tied for the team lead with 38 tackles and five tackles for loss while also recording three sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble on the year.

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