KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Gator-hater week is on and Volunteer fans are wondering if 2016 will be their year to beat Florida.
The 14th-ranked Volunteers (3-0) take on 19th-ranked Florida (3-0) at Neyland Stadium Saturday. The Vols hope to end that 11 year old losing streak. The volunteers will be wearing their “Smokey Grey” uniforms for the game.
Injuries have been a key focus for the game. During his Monday press conference, head coach Butch Jones said the team will be without their top corner, Cam Sutton, starting middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland and reserve ‘backer Quart’e Sapp. The loss of Sutton may be the hardest hit to the team’s defensive line.
However, Florida is not without losses. Their quarterback, Luke Del Rio, will miss Saturday’s game because of a knee injury. Del Rio injured his knee Saturday on a low hit by North Texas defensive end Josh Wheeler, who was flagged for a personal foul. The injury forces the Gators to turn to former Purdue starter Austin Appleby.
Download the WATE 6 On Your Side news app and sign up for push alerts for score updates and the latest from the game. Also follow WATE 6 On Your Side Sports Director Marshall Hughes on Twitter (@MarshallHughes) live tweets from the game. WATE 6 On Your Side will also live stream the post-game press conference with University of Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones. Just check WATE.com about 5-15 minutes after the game.
Student tickets and tickets for the general public are sold out for the game, according to the University of Tennessee athletics
Attendees must follow the stadium’s new bag policy. Small clutches will be allowed, as well as clear, gallon-sized, resealable plastic bags, and clear totes, which can be found at Volshops.
Kick-off is at 3:30 p.m. at Neyland Stadium. It will be broadcast on CBS and on the radio on the Vol Network.
- Vol Village: Noon
- Vol Walk: 1:15 p.m.
- Gates open: 1:30 p.m.
- Band march: 1:50 p.m.
- Kick-off: 3:30 p.m.
The WATE 6 Storm Team says starry night and a mostly sunny afternoon should dominate Saturday with highs in the lower 90s.
What to wear
Following many requests, Checker Neyland is back for Tennessee’s game against Florida. This year, organizers reversed the colors of Checker Neyland, so they say it is important to check and double-check your color and your friend’s color.
Dish is also giving 102,455 fan stickers to fans at the game. Fans can get stickers early at retail outlets for $3.99 with $2 of every purchase going to The Pat Summitt Foundation.
The stickers are branded with the iconic pat Summitt signature “P” and “Tennessee.” Stickers are available at Alumni Hall, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, HoundDogs, Pilot Food Marts, Sports Seasons and Vol Shop. The university is encouraging fans watching at home to share their pictures using the hashtag #VolsGameFace.
Fans are also encouraged to “Shake Neyland” by bringing orange and white pom shakers to the game. The Vol Shop, Alumni Hall, Boosters Inc., Gameday Depot, Hounds Dogs of Knoxville and Sport Seasons are all selling the pom shakers in Knoxville.
Game day traffic
Whether you are a Knoxvillian rooting for the big orange or trapped in the traffic patterns caused by big orange fans, you can’t avoid the University of Tennessee and its events. Remember, only one lane will be open on Cumberland Avenue in both directions. No left turns on the roadway will be allowed.
- Coming from the west: One option is to take Interstate 40/75 to southbound Alcoa Highway, then exit onto Neyland Drive. Once on Neyland Drive, motorists can access campus via Joe Johnson Drive. A second option is to take eastbound Kingston Pike to Neyland Drive.
- Coming from the south: Take Chapman Highway and cross the Tennessee River into downtown using either the Henley Bridge or the Gay Street Bridge. Fans can also drive northbound Alcoa Highway to Neyland Drive, and either access campus via Joe Johnson Drive or access City parking garages by continuing on Neyland into downtown.
- Coming from north of Cumberland Avenue: Take southbound Broadway until it turns into Henley Street downtown; then turn right onto Western Avenue (to 11th Street) or onto Clinch Avenue to access Fort Sanders, or turn left onto Summit Hill Drive or Church Street to access the downtown garages.
- If driving from I-40: Take southbound 17th Street to access side streets into Fort Sanders.
- Coming from the east: Get off I-40 at James White Parkway to access downtown and parking.
- To access destinations on the north side of Cumberland Avenue: Take southbound 17th Street to Cumberland Avenue; turn right onto Cumberland, then access businesses by turning right into their parking areas.
- To access destinations on the south side of Cumberland: Take Neyland Drive to Joe Johnson Drive; turn left onto West Volunteer Boulevard; turn right onto Cumberland. Or: Take Alcoa Highway and the Kingston Pike exit; turn onto Cumberland; turn right into the business.
The City of Knoxville is recommends using city garages downtown for parking.
- Market Square Garage: Normal daytime rates. It will be free after 6 p.m. There will be free game-day parking once enough parking spots are set aside for monthly parking passes.
- State Street Garage: Normal daytime rates. It will be free after 6 p.m.
- Promenade Garage: No game-day parking
- Main Street Garage: Game-day parking will begin at 3 p.m. and costs $20.
- Locust Street Garage: Game day parking will begin at 3 p.m. and costs $20.
- City County Building Garage: Game day parking will begin at 3 p.m. and costs $20.
- Dwight Kessel Garage: Game day parking will begin at 3 p.m. at $20.
- Civic Coliseum Garage: RVs will be allowed for $35 for spots without utility hookups. There will be game day parking for $10 for other vehicles.
- West Jackson Avenue lot: The lot is located west of Gay Street in Old City. It will have normal daytime rates and will be free after 6 p.m.
- State Supreme Court: Game day parking will begin at noon.
- Poplar Street lot: Game day parking begins at noon and will be $30.
- Blackstock Avenue lot: RVs will be allowed for $25. Game day parking begins at 3 p.m. The cost is $10 for other vehicles.
Other ways to get to the game
If you do not want to deal with parking on game days, another option is Uber, but Uber drivers say you still need to plan ahead to make sure you get a ride and get there on time. The average ride from West Knoxville to downtown will cost about $2, but on game days expect surge pricing.
Another option is JoyRide. It is a golf cart ride service, but they only offer rides within a couple miles of campus. Remember all ride sharing businesses will be busy and dealing with traffic so be patient.
KAT bus provides shuttles to all UT home football games. Shuttles run continuously beginning three hours before kickoff. Shuttles start running against after the 4th quarter and run continuously for approximately 60 minutes after the game.
- The Knoxville Civic Coliseum (Route 51A): The cost is $6 per person with an additional charge for parking. After the game, buses depart from Walters Life Sciences.
- Farragut High School Parking Lot (Route 51C): The cost is $15 round trip per person with no charge for parking. Shuttles leave approximately every 20 minutes. The final trip departs from high school one hour before kick-off. Tickets are available at Farragut High School beginning three hours before kick-off. Going to the game the shuttle drops off at Peyton Manning Pass and Circle Park and after the game the shuttle picks up passengers from Volunteer Boulevard near McClung Tower.
- The Old City (Route 51D): The cost is $6 per person. Shuttles depart from 200 #. Jackson Avenue, in front of Barley’s Taproom. After the game, catch buses at the Walters Life Sciences.
- Market Square/Krutch Park (Route 51E): The cost is $6 per person. Shuttles depart from Krutch Park at Clinch. Catch the trolleys at Walters Life Sciences after the game.
For more information visit the city of Knoxville’s website.