After debuting its new orange helmets last week in South Carolina, the Tennessee football team is going back to a more traditional look this week to end the regular season. The Vols revealed Wednesday afternoon in a post on their official Twitter account that they will be wearing their usual, all-white road uniforms — white helmets, white jerseys and white pants — for their regular-season finale Saturday night at in-state rival Vanderbilt .
Kickoff between the 10th-ranked Vols (9-2, 5-2 SEC) and the Commodores (5-6, 2-5) is scheduled for 7:30 pm Eastern time Saturday at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network.
Saturday will be just the second time this season Tennessee has worn its all-white uniforms. The Vols also went with their white helmets, white jerseys and white pants for their 34-27 overtime victory Sept. 10 and Pittsburgh.
They wore white jerseys and white pants with their new, orange helmets Saturday night in their 63-38 loss at South Carolina, a game that almost definitely ended their hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff. Star quarterback Hendon Hooker also suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the game, ending his season and his collegiate career. Backup Joe Milton III, a fifth-year senior and former Michigan transfer, will take over as Tennessee’s starter and is now the Vols’ only available scholarship quarterback, with freshman Tayven Jackson also having been sidelined with an injury Oct. 22 during Tennessee’s win over UT Martin.
The Vols wore their white jerseys and orange pants Nov. 5 and Georgia in a 27-13 loss to the top-ranked Bulldogs. LSU’s decision to wear all-white uniforms at home against Tennessee, meanwhile, allowed the Vols to use their “Smokey Gray” alternate uniforms for their 40-13 win Oct. 8 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
Tennessee has worn seven different uniform combinations this year, including the “Dark Mode” black uniforms — complete with new, black helmets — the Vols used Oct. 29 in their 44-6 rout of then-No. 19 Kentucky. They also have worn orange jerseys and orange pants with their white helmets at home, along with their traditional home uniforms — orange jerseys with white pants and white helmets.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) November 23, 2022
A win this weekend would give Tennessee its first 10-win season in 15 years under second-year coach Josh Heupel and could send the Vols to a New Year’s Six bowl, with both the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl still being realistic options. Tennessee has won its past three meetings with Vanderbilt, all by 18 points or more, including a 45-21 victory last year at Neyland Stadium.
The Vols have mostly dominated their football rivalry with the Commodores, and they hold a 78-33-5 lead in the all-time series. But it has been more competitive over the past decade, with Vanderbilt and Tennessee having split the past 10 meetings. Before the Vols’ current three-game winning streak, the Commodores knocked off Tennessee three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018.