Knoxville, Tenn. (ABC4 Sports) – BYU’s football team was scheduled to open the 2023 season at home against Tennessee on Sept. 2. But the Vols pulled out and will instead face Virginia in Nashville, leaving a hole in BYU’s first non-conference roster as a member of the Big 12 Conference.
Tennessee would pay BYU a $2 million fine in redemption, according to knoxnews.com.
“Pivoting to play against a big-name non-conference opponent in Nashville made sense for a number of reasons,” Tennessee athletic director Danny White said. “It’s a more accessible game for our fan base. I expect we’ll have a much bigger fan contingent in Nashville than we could have gotten to Utah.
In 2019, BYU traveled to Neyland Stadium in 2019 and beat the Volunteers in overtime, 29-26. Tennessee was supposed to play at LaVell Edwards Stadium for the very first time, but now that game has been canceled.
Last week, BYU canceled four games against Utah State from 2023-2026. It’s unclear if BYU will attempt to reschedule the 2023 game now that Tennessee has pulled out. Utah State already has a game scheduled for September 2, 2023 in Iowa.
Going forward, BYU will play in Arkansas and Southern Utah in 2023 before starting its first Big 12 Conference roster.