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Tennessee, Utah State move 2014 opener to Sunday night

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Chuckie Keeton's 2013 season ended in an ACL tear. (USATSI)
Chuckie Keeton's 2013 season ended in an ACL tear. (USATSI)
The SEC Network's debut college football weekend won't end on Saturday night.

Tennessee announced Tuesday that its Aug. 30 season opener against Utah State will now be played on Sunday, Aug. 31, with kickoff at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

The game will be only the second-ever Sunday game played in Neyland Stadium, with Knoxville's annual Labor Day weekend "Boomsday" celebration moved to Saturday.

"This will be a unique and exciting weekend for our city and our state," Butch Jones said in a statement. "With Boomsday on Saturday and our season opener on Sunday, the atmosphere and energy in Knoxville will be unrivaled. We're also excited about being one of the schools featured on the first weekend of SEC Network football telecasts, and we are looking forward to this tremendous opportunity."

The SEC Network will broadcast its first live college football game the previous Thursday, Aug. 28, when Texas A&M visits South Carolina.

But despite the affiliation of the game's TV venue, there'll be more reason to watch than just the Volunteers; the game should mark the return of the Aggies' star quarterback Chuckie Keeton, whose junior year was cut short by an ACL tear. Utah State has also made a habit of scaring the pants off of BCS teams in recent years, losing to USC by three points in 2013, Wisconsin by two in 2012, and Auburn by four in 2011. (The Aggies also beat in-state rival Utah 27-20 in 2012.)

Sunday night opening weekend football is always fun, and if the Aggies come to play as expected, it might be even more fun than many neutral fans would expect.

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