Tennessee and Utah State fans will have to wait just a little longer for the start of the 2014 season. The wait for Chuckie Keeton‘s anticipated return will also have to wait one more day. The season opener between the Vols and Aggies will be played on Sunday, August 31 instead of the originally scheduled Saturday, August 30. The game will be televised on the brand new SEC Network, giving the new network an extra game in an exclusive time slot to share with subscribers of the network.
“This will be a unique and exciting weekend for our city and our state,” said Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones in a statement released by the university. “We’re also excited about being one of the schools featured on the first weekend of SEC Network football telecasts, and we are looking forward to this tremendous opportunity.”
College football on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend is nothing new, and with the addition of another cable sports network it is likely we will see more games moved to Sunday time slots for years to come. This will be the seventh time Tennessee has played a game on a Sunday, according to a release from Tennessee. This will be just the second time a football game has been played on a Sunday in Neyland Stadium.
Utah State will be far from a pushover for the Vols of course. Utah State is coming off a division championship and a bowl victory over Northern Illinois this past season, and the Aggies will welcome back the athletically talented Keeton at quarterback. Keeton is a bit of a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate and will look to make a big statement in his return to the field after having his 2013 season end early due to an injury. Utah State has generally been a strong defensive team as well, so the Vols will have to be at their best to score the Sunday home victory in the season opener.