TENNESSEE, WEST VIRGINIA TO SQUARE OFF IN 62ND AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the 54th time in program history, Tennessee football is bowl bound as the Volunteers will face West Virginia in the 62nd edition of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT on New Year’s Eve in Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
The Dec. 31 contest will be televised live by ESPN. Tickets for the game are available through the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at libertybowl.org.
“I’m thrilled about our football program’s opportunity to compete in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against a great opponent like West Virginia,” Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. “First, it’s an opportunity to connect with our many fans throughout West Tennessee and expand upon the rich historical links between the Memphis area and UT. We have so much Tennessee family in and around Memphis—especially our medical school and fantastic alumni. And secondly, it’s a tremendous development opportunity for our team and should serve as a primer to spring practice for Coach Pruitt and our returners.
“We all know Memphis loves the Tennessee Vols, and it’s an important stronghold for all of our athletic and academic programs.”
Tennessee will be playing in its second straight bowl, while its 54 all-time bowl appearances rank fourth nationally. The Vols (3-7) and Mountaineers (5-4) are slated to square off for the second time and first since the 2018 season-opener in Charlotte.
“We look forward to the opportunity of playing a bowl game in our home state,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “Since we returned to campus this summer, I am proud of our team in how they have navigated through the challenges presented during this unique season. They get another chance to take the field against a very good opponent in West Virginia. We know Memphis is a special place for Vol fans, and we look forward to seeing them on New Year’s Eve in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.”
Tennessee completed its 10-game SEC regular season on Saturday, recording victories against South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt. For the first time in school history, the Vols faced four or more top-five ranked opponents at the time of the meeting.
Tennessee is playing in its fourth AutoZone Liberty Bowl and first since 1986 when the Vols defeated Minnesota, 21-14. UT’s other AutoZone Liberty Bowl victories occurred in 1974 when it beat Maryland, 7-3, and in 1971 when it edged Arkansas, 14-13.