COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – In the short term, Tennessee Tech football fans have a big game to look forward to this Saturday when the Golden Eagles open the 2015 season at the University of Houston.
In a longer view, Golden Eagle fans now have another big game to get excited about -- Tennessee Tech will play a game at the University of Tennessee during the 2016 season.
Tech will tangle with the Vols in Neyland Stadium on November 5, 2016. The game time has not been set.
“This is another in a long list of these games for us,” said Golden Eagle head coach Watson Brown. “It’s like Oregon and TCU and Wisconsin, and some others. It seems like Mark (Director of Athletics Mark Wilson) waits until a team gets really good and he schedules them. By the time we play them next year, they’ll probably be Top 10.
“It will be really neat for our guys to be playing at Tennessee,” Brown continued. “For our out-of-state guys, it’s another big opponent. For our in-state guys, it will be something really special. They’ve grown up watching games in that stadium and now they will be playing there. We’ve played SEC teams before, but this one will be special for them.”
Tech and Tennessee have met five times in the past, but next year’s game will be the first football meeting between the two schools in 65 years. The two played every year between 1947 and 1951, with the Golden Eagles playing three of those games under coach Putty Overall and two under Star Wood. Tennessee was coached in those five contests by Robert Neyland.
The game in 2016 will put Watson Brown’s Golden Eagles on the field against Butch Jones’ Volunteers.
The game at Tennessee continues a tradition of the Golden Eagles stepping up in classification to face a team from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Tech plays in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
This year’s game at Houston is the 25th year that Tech has played an FBS opponent, with a list of pretty impressive foes. In the past few seasons, Tech has faced No. 4 TCU, No. 2 Oregon and No. 24 Wisconsin.
“Playing an FBS school has become a tradition for our football program, and one that the players and fans have really enjoyed over the years,” said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson.
“Playing Tennessee will be another great experience for our team, for our fans and alumni, and for our student. It should make for a very festive, enjoyable time in Knoxville.”
Ticket information for the game will be announced next spring.