The start of football season is one day closer than expected for Tennessee.
The organizers of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game made their plans for a weekend doubleheader in Atlanta official on Thursday, with the Vols and North Carolina State slotted for Friday night in the Georgia Dome.
A kickoff time for the opener on Aug. 31 has not been determined, but the game will be broadcast on ESPNU as coach Derek Dooley begins his third campaign with the program. Auburn will take on Clemson the next day as part of the weekend showcase of non-conference affairs between SEC and ACC programs.
"When we created the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with ESPN, our goal was to kick off the season in a special and memorable way," Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan said in a release. "With these two games, and these four teams and their fan bases, this is going to be a colossal weekend of football in Atlanta -- like nothing you have seen before."
The Vols have seen some Friday-night action in the regular season before, but they haven't dealt with much like it in quite some time.
The last time UT played a non-bowl game on Friday was in 1939 -- also against North Carolina State. The most recent appearance on that day also has a common thread, with the Vols playing Clemson in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on a Friday.
"We look forward to being a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff weekend in Atlanta," UT athletic director Dave Hart said in a release. "The exposure afforded our university and football program through our participation in this season-opening event is very significant."