By Thomas Matchell
College football in the state of Tennessee began Aug. 27 with the Austin Peay Governors losing to WKU (Western Kentucky University) 38-27. WKU was a powerhouse last season with a record of 9-5, they also won the Boca Raton Bowl against Appalachian State. A tough but competitive loss for the Governors.
Vanderbilt had an astonishing victory against Hawaii; winning 63-10. Freshman cornerback, Jameson Wharton, was able to give information of the excitement on the sidelines, “The energy was live the whole game even when we were up like 56-10, we were still screaming and doing some chants that we have been doing since the beginning of fall camp,” he also states, “Winning the first game is cool and all but we gotta get back to work for Elon.” He also gave a breakdown of what head coach, Clark Lea, wants the mentality to be for the season after that first game against Hawaii, “He really just tells us to focus on playing at our highest level and not worry about the opponent.”
The Vanderbilt Commodores finished the 2021 season with a record of 2-10 and finished that season with a 7-game losing streak to end it off. The projections for Vanderbilt have been at a high for them to finish as a top team in the SEC (Southeastern Conference).
Tennessee Tech had a down season last year, finishing the 2021 season 3-8. Their first game of the season against Kansas finished 56-10 in a tough loss for the Golden Eagles. I was able to talk to Freshman defensive back, Torin Baker, before the game about the pregame mindset, “Just coming to compete no matter the opponent. We know we are facing a power five team, but we also know we are a good enough team to compete and that is what we are going to Kansas to do, compete.” He also stated, “The coaches have helped change the mindset to put the team in a better spot to win, mostly doing things off the field and keeping each other accountable.” Unfortunately, Tennessee Tech’s only touchdown was a pass from quarterback, Jeremiah Oatsvall, to wide receiver, Quavel Thornton.
Students at Volunteer State Community College shared their interest in opening week of college football, their favorite team, and what they are most excited for!
Student athlete, Ethan Huddleston, shares his favorite team, “The Tennessee Volunteers” and told us what he is most excited for, “Going to some of the games, and tailgate with some friends having a good time.”
Daryn Hinton shares his input of what about college football he is most excited for, and being a “Michigan Wolverines” fan, “To see how well Michigan will do against Ohio State this year.”
Matthew O’Brien says his team “the Vols” is what brings excitement and “The tailgating, I love the tailgating, I’m going to a few games this season and I am hype about the student section.”
David Diaz says, “I can’t wait for some people to smack each other” as he stated his team is “University of Tennessee.”
A lot of college football interest is shown by the students at Volunteer State Community College, and a good amount of Tennessee Volunteer fans. Expect to see your fellow classmates at future games in the season as there is a fan base for college football on campus.
Week 1 scores of FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) and FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) schools based in Tennessee (Vanderbilt & Austin Peay scores are listed in beginning of article):
Ball State Cardinals @ Tennessee Volunteers (10-59, W)
Western Illinois Leatherbacks @ Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks (25-42, W)
Mars Hill Mountain Lions @ East Tennessee State Buccaneers (7-44, W)
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles @ Kansas Jayhawks (10-56 L)
Tennessee State Tigers @ Eastern Washington Eagles (29-36, L)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders @ James Madison Dukes (7-44, L)
Wofford Terriers @ Chattanooga Mocs (0-31, W)
Memphis Tigers @ Mississippi State Bulldogs (23-49, L)