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Volunteers, Wolfpack to Meet in Duke's Mayo Classic

Duke’s Mayo Classic
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee football enthusiasts are gearing up for an electrifying showdown as the Volunteers prepare to face off against North Carolina State in the Duke's Mayo Classic on Sept. 7. The highly anticipated non-conference matchup, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on ABC, promises to be a thrilling encounter between two storied programs.

This clash marks the fourth meeting between the Volunteers and the Wolfpack, with Tennessee emerging victorious in their previous two encounters, including a memorable 35-21 triumph in Atlanta back in 2012. N.C. State, having participated in the 2017 kickoff game against South Carolina, brings its own brand of competitiveness to the field, setting the stage for an enthralling contest.

Vols vs. Wolfpack

Under the guidance of coach Josh Heupel, Tennessee is enjoying a resurgence, coming off its most successful two-year period in over two decades. Heupel, entering his fourth season at the helm, has instilled a winning mentality within the team, culminating in a remarkable nine-win season last fall. The Volunteers capped off their impressive campaign with a dominant 35-0 victory over Big Ten Conference West champion Iowa in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, solidifying their status as a force to be reckoned with in college football.

Duke's Mayo Classic
© Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The upcoming matchup against N.C. State presents an opportunity for Tennessee to showcase its prowess on a national stage once again. With the game set to be broadcast on ABC, it will mark the Vols' third appearance on the network in their last 15 contests, highlighting the program's growing prominence and appeal.

Prior to their clash with N.C. State, the Volunteers will kick off their 128th season with a showdown against Chattanooga on Aug. 31 at Neyland Stadium. This early-season encounter will serve as a precursor to the much-anticipated Duke's Mayo Classic, as Tennessee looks to build momentum and set the tone for what promises to be an exciting season ahead.

As football fans await the kickoff of the Duke's Mayo Classic, all eyes will be on Tennessee as they aim to continue their winning ways and make a statement against a formidable opponent in N.C. State. With passion, determination, and a hunger for victory, the Volunteers are primed to deliver an unforgettable performance on the grand stage of college football.

Exploring the Duke's Mayo Classic Tradition

Every year, college football fans eagerly anticipate the start of the season, and one event that kicks off the excitement in style is the Duke’s Mayo Classic. Held annually on the opening weekend of the college football season in Charlotte, N.C., at the iconic Bank of America Stadium, this game has become a beloved tradition for fans across the nation.

Key Duke’s Mayo Classic Facts
  • Inception and participants: The Duke’s Mayo Classic has been a staple of the college football calendar since 2015, featuring teams from both the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). This blend of top-tier programs adds to the allure and competitiveness of the matchups.

  • Opening weekend spectacle: Typically scheduled for late August or early September, the Duke’s Mayo Classic marks the beginning of the college football season with a bang, setting the stage for an action-packed lineup of games to follow.

  • Broadcast and prestige: The game garners widespread attention, being broadcast on ESPN and considered a premier event in the college football season. The national spotlight shines brightly on the teams as they vie for victory in front of a captivated audience.

  • Local fervor: In the Charlotte area, the Duke’s Mayo Classic is a highlight on the sports calendar, drawing crowds ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 fans each year. The passionate support from local fans adds to the electric atmosphere of the game.

  • Notable matchups: Over the years, the Duke’s Mayo Classic has showcased several memorable matchups, pitting powerhouse programs against each other. From North Carolina vs. South Carolina to N.C. State vs. Tennessee and Appalachian State vs. Georgia, the game consistently delivers thrilling contests and unforgettable moments.

Additional Insights
  • Organizational backbone: The game is managed by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sports and entertainment events in the Charlotte area. Their commitment to excellence ensures that the game continues to be a marquee event on the college football landscape.

  • Stadium and capacity: Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, serves as the venue for the Duke’s Mayo Classic, boasting a seating capacity of more than 75,000.

  • Community engagement: Emphasizing the importance of community involvement, the Duke’s Mayo Classic goes beyond the gridiron, hosting a variety of activities and events throughout the week leading up to the game. This focus on outreach strengthens bonds within the community and fosters a sense of camaraderie among fans.

  • Unique tradition: One of the most distinctive aspects of the Duke’s Mayo Classic is its tradition of celebrating victory by dumping mayonnaise on the winning coach—an unconventional yet endearing ritual that has captured the imagination of fans and added an extra layer of excitement to the post-game festivities.

The Duke’s Mayo Classic stands as a beacon of tradition, excitement and camaraderie in the world of college football. From thrilling matchups and passionate fan support to unique traditions and community engagement, this annual event exemplifies the spirit and spectacle of the game, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impression on all who participate.


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