Virginia Cavaliers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
HOW TO WATCH THE ‘HOOS:
Location: Nashville, TN
Date: September 2nd, 2023
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: ESPN+
Vegas Odds: Tennessee -28
FOOTBALL IS BACK BABY. The Wahoos are kicking off their 2023 season with a major test against the no. 12 Tennessee Volunteers. It’s stiff test for a young, inexperienced, and still gelling roster. But that doesn’t mean that this one can’t be competitive or that the ‘Hoos can’t show some positive signs that will project well for the rest of the fall.
Ahead of today’s kickoff, we’ve got all the content you need to get ready!
- Our game preview with three Tennessee players, two matchups, and one prediction to watch paints the picture for what UVA will be facing and what they’ll need to do to stage a shocking upset.
- ALSO, we wrote up a piece on five Virginia players to keep an eye on in this game, detailing why how they play will be a major determining factor in the final result.
- If you’re feeling like listening to something, there’s also this week’s episode of Speaking the Lawn where we did a schedule breakdown and prediction for the Cavaliers this fall. You can listen to that at the link above or wherever you get your podcasts.
- Of course, there’s also this weekend’s betting preview that will help you whet your betting appetite for the upcoming season.
- All of the rest of our UVA football coverage can be found here!
Kickoff is at 12:00 — leave your pre, in, and post-game thoughts here and be sure to check back in for plenty of mid and post game content later today, tomorrow, and next week!
We’ll also be active on Twitter throughout the game and all season long so follow along on their for our staff’s live reactions.
Streaking the Lawn — @STL_UVA
Zach Carey — @Zach_Carey_
Dan Siegel — @DanSiegel_
Ryan Reese — @HoosOn_First
Ben Wieland — @BenWieland
Paul Guttman — @Tiki_UVA
Paul Wiley — @PaulWileyVA
Lastly, here are a few game notes from UVA:
INSIDE SATURDAY’S MATCHUP
• Saturday’s season opener against Tennessee will mark the beginning of the 134th season of football at Virginia.
• The Cavaliers will open the season at a neutral site for the first time since 1989 when they took on No. 2 Notre Dame at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It marks the only the fourth time in program history UVA has begun the season at a neutral site (2023, 1989, 1960, 1890).
• Dating back to the 2017 season, UVA has won six-straight season openers and owns a 85-39-9 record in season-opening games.
• Tennessee is the first SEC opponent for UVA since the 2019 Orange Bowl against Florida. The Gators halted a late UVA comeback attempt to come away 36-28 victory in Miami. Virginia’s last win against an SEC foe game in the 2018 Belk Bowl, a 28-0 shutout of South Carolina in Charlotte.
• The Volunteers come into the contest ranked 12th in the AP poll and 10th in the AFCA Coaches Poll. Tennessee finished the 2022 season as the No. 6 team in the country after a win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Virginia is seeking its first win over a ranked opponent since 2020 when it defeated then-No. 15 North Carolina.
• Virginia returns to the field for the first time in 294 days. Its 2022 season was cut short after tragedy claimed the lives of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. The Cavaliers canceled their final two games of the year.
• The Cavaliers defense was the strong point of the 2022 squad, improving its scoring defense by over a full touchdown (7.8 points) from the 2021 season. Only 11 teams in FBS had a better defensive improvement from the 2021 season.
• Virginia returns eight starters on the defensive side of the ball, including its entire defensive line. The Cavaliers averaged 3.0 sacks per game, the 12th highest average in the country.
• UVA will need to replace nearly 80 percent of its total offense from a year ago, including the program’s all-time leading passer, Brennan Armstrong. The Cavaliers return three starters on offense and have bolstered the offensive side of the ball with transfers QB Tony Muskett (Monmouth) WR Malik Washington (Northwestern) and OL Brian Stevens (Dayton) who have a combined 61 collegiate starts to their credit.
• The Cavaliers return to Nashville for the first time since the 2017 season. UVA moved its regular season contest against Ohio to Vanderbilt Stadium to avoid Hurricane Florence. Nissan Stadium is the fourth NFL Stadium UVA has played in since 2018 (Miami, Pittsburgh, Charlotte).