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Tennessee to face Syracuse in 2025 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta

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A throwback matchup of sorts.

Tennessee Jamal Lewis... SetNumber: X56315 TK3 R6 F2

Add another future non-conference matchup to the slate for Tennessee. The Volunteers will take on Syracuse in 2025 in Atlanta as a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, rekindling a matchup that we saw a couple of times at the turn of the century.

The two schools announced the matchup below.

“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is one of the premier events in all of college football,” Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said. “Opening a season in Atlanta in a venue of this caliber against an excellent opponent will generate tremendous excitement within our program and among our players. We look forward to a massive turnout from Vol Nation in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2025.”

Tennessee and Syracuse met back in 1998 in an instant classic, with the Volunteers coming out on top in the Carrier Dome, 34-33. Jeff Hall drilled a 27-yard field goal as time expired to send Tennessee home with the win, the first of a magical 1998 season that resulted in a National Championship.

The two sides would meet again in 2001 in Knoxville, with Tennessee earning a 33-9 win.

Since then, Syracuse has joined the ACC, but they’ve struggled to find their footing. The Orange have won ten games just one time since that 2001 season, and they’re coming off of a 1-10 campaign in 2020. Dino Babers will now coach for his job this fall in need of a quick rebound.

Tennessee last appeared in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game back in 2017, beating Georgia Tech in a wild overtime game. They previously beat N.C. State in the same game in 2012.

“I’m very excited to see a whole lot of orange in Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” Tennessee athletic director 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.”