By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — The Tennessee Volunteers will have to win big games on the road this season to equal or surpass last year’s exceptional 11-2 mark.

There is plenty of optimism given the caliber of performance that returning QB Joe Milton showed late last year.

 They have also recruited well, getting two receivers reportedly faster than last year’s pair who are now both in the NFL.

But the 2023 schedule has two of Tennessee’s three toughest games on the road. They open with Virginia in Nashville September 2, then Austin Peay in Knoxville the following week. Their first tough road test comes against Florida Sept. 16 at night in Gainesville. They return home the next week against UTSA, then conclude the openjngmonth against South Carolina in Knoxville. 

They get a bye week, then begin October at home again vs. Texas A&M. The second big task comes October 21 against Alabama on the road. They conclude October at Kentucky. Connecticut comes to Knoxville to begin November on the 4th. Tennessee travels to Missouri the next week. Then on November 18 comes the game of the season in Knoxville as two-time defending national champion Georgia head to town. Vanderbilt wraps up the home slate and regular season November 25.

No coach will tip their hand this early, and Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is wisely making no predictions.  But consensus is 10 wins and a major bowl bid would be a great year.