Vols to open 2025 season with Syracuse

Teams to play in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04, 2017 - Power T flag during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game between the...
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04, 2017 - Power T flag during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Tennessee Volunteers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Photo By John Golliher/Tennessee Athletics (UT Athletics)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 3:06 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Syracuse Orange and Tennessee Volunteers are scheduled to meet for the first time in 24 years in the 2025 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The matchup will be played Saturday, Aug. 30, 2025 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and will be televised by either ABC or ESPN. An exact kick time will be finalized at a later date. 

The 2025 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will mark the fourth time Syracuse and Tennessee have faced each other, but will be the first meeting between the two programs since 2001. Tennessee leads the all-time series 3-0, including a 33-9 win over the Orange in the most recent matchup. The Orange and Volunteers also previously met in a thrilling 34-33 Tennessee win during the Volunteers’ 1998 National Championship run and an 18-12 Volunteer victory during the 1966 season. 

“Syracuse and Tennessee have a history of playing thrilling contests when the two programs meet and we expect that to be the case again with their game to open the 2025 season here in Atlanta,” said Bob Somers, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be a raging sea of orange when these two programs clash for the first time in more than two decades.” 

Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White said. “I cannot wait for Tennessee fans to take over Atlanta for the weekend and support the Vols against a quality opponent in a venue we hope to frequent as Josh and his staff work to restore our program. I am also looking forward to working with Gary Stokan and his staff for this exciting event.”

Each team will receive its own ticket allotment to the game and additional tickets will be sold through the Peach Bowl, Inc. ticket office. Tickets will be available for public sale early in 2025. The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry-style icons. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.

 The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 69,170 fans for each game – higher than 36 bowl games from the 2019-20 Bowl Season – and an additional 78.4 million television viewers since 2008. Total team payouts average $5.2 million – higher than 26 bowl games during the 2019-20 Bowl Season – with more than $67 million in payouts over its history.

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