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Tennessee Expecting Thousands Of BYU Fans In Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 08: Tennessee mascot Davy Crockett carries the flag across the end zone during a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers at Neyland Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennesee won the game 59-3. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU football declared their independence in 2010, one of the big selling points to the move was taking their winning program to venues around the country.

Since the Cougars began playing football as an FBS Independent, BYU has traveled from the far east in Connecticut to Southern California and everywhere else in between.

When BYU travels, Cougar fans usually show up in big numbers.  It’s why Kalani Sitake said in 2018 that one of BYU’s biggest strengths is their “Power Five fan base.”

The signature road game for BYU in the 2019 football schedule is the Cougars trip to historic Neyland Stadium to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.

The two teams will meet on Saturday, September 7th and it will mark the first time that BYU and Tennessee have ever squared off against each other on the gridiron.

Fox Sports Knoxville on-air host Trey Wallace who covers Tennessee and SEC Football reported that BYU fans have sold their entire allotment of lower-level tickets which is a total of 2,121 Cougar supporters that will be in Neyland.  But it doesn’t stop there, BYU’s Alumni Association chapter in Nashville also purchased 3,500 tickets.

These type of numbers are not uncommon for BYU when traveling on the road.  When BYU played Ole Miss in their first game as an FBS Independent program in 2011, Cougar fans filled up two sections at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium.  At Nebraska, BYU brought thousands of fans to witness the “Miracle At Memorial” in 2015.

In 2016, Cougar fans packed into University of Phoenix Stadium and nearly outdrew the host team, Arizona in Kalani Sitake’s debut as head coach.

Playing a historic program like Tennessee plus the excitement that players such as quarterback Zach Wilson have brought to the BYU fan base have had Cougar fans circling this game as a “must-see.”

The price of tickets for BYU vs. Tennessee through the Volunteer ticket office is the same price point as a majority of Tennessee’s games against SEC opponents.  The only exception is their contest against preseason SEC East favorite the Georgia Bulldogs.

Both teams have to focus in on their week one opponents and for BYU it’s rival Utah.  But it’s hard not to get excited about the atmosphere that will be on display at Neyland Stadium on September 7th.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.