BOWL GAME PREVIEW: Orange Bowl tonight at 8, pits Tennessee against Clemson; Vols Game Notes



#6 TENNESSEE (10-2 | 6-2 SEC)

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#7 CLEMSON (11-2 | 8-0 ACC)

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MIAMI – A top-10 battle between No. 6 Tennessee and No. 7 Clemson awaits on Friday night at 8 p.m. in the 2022 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Vols are making their third bowl appearance in four seasons. Friday will mark the program’s first trip to Miami for the Orange Bowl since facing Nebraska on Jan. 2, 1998.


Friday’s contest will be televised in primetime on ESPN as Joe Tessitore (PxP), Greg McElroy (analyst) and Katie George (sideline reporter) will have the call. Kickoff is slated for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Fans can listen to Tennessee’s official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (Local: WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) over 64 stations across the state of Tennessee and the southeast, SiriusXM (Ch. 136 or 190) and the SiriusXM app (Ch. 961), as well as the Varsity App. A live audio stream of the broadcast will also be available on​ and the Tennessee Athletics App.

Bob Kesling (PxP), Pat Ryan (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with VFL Jayson Swain handling sideline duties for the Vol Network radio broadcast. The Big Orange Countdown pregame show begins at 6 p.m. ET.


For Tennessee fans making the trip to Miami, the most up-to-date information on this year’s Orange Bowl such as tickets, parking and game week events can be found at the Orange Bowl Central page on or the official Capital One Orange Bowl website.

Please be aware that the NFL’s clear bag policy will be in effect. For more info, click HERE.


Capital One Orange Bowl Fan Fest: 3-7 p.m.
Gates Open: 6 p.m.
Kickoff: 8:10 p.m.


Big Orange Bowl
The Vols are Orange Bowl bound for the first time in 25 years as they head south to Miami to square off with the ACC champion Clemson Tigers. Clemson enters the game ranked one spot behind the Vols in the College Football Playoff rankings at No. 7 after going 11-2 this season, including a perfect 8-0 record in conference play.

Both teams are coming off victories in their last game, as UT dominated in-state rival Vanderbilt with a 56-0 shutout victory in Nashville on Nov. 26 while Clemson cruised to a 39-10 win over North Carolina in the ACC title game to win its sixth consecutive conference championship. Tennessee’s last appearance in the Orange Bowl came after the 1997 season, a disappointing 42-17 loss to No. 2 Nebraska in what was Peyton Manning’s final game in the Orange & White. The Vols are 1-3 all-time in the Orange Bowl and will be looking to snap a three-game skid in the game after defeating Oklahoma 17-0 in their first trip to Miami back in 1939. UT’s other Orange Bowl appearances came in 1947 (L, 8-0 to Rice) and 1968 (L, 26-24 to Oklahoma).

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is no stranger to the Orange Bowl, having participated in the game twice during his career, once as a player and once as a graduate assistant coach. As the starting quarterback, Heupel led the Oklahoma Sooners to a National Championship in the 2001 Orange Bowl with a 13-2 victory over Florida State. Heupel returned to Miami following the 2004 season as a graduate assistant with the Sooners when they played for another national title in the 2005 Orange Bowl, a loss to Southern Cal.

A win on Friday night would give the Vols their first 11-win season since finishing 11-2 in 2001.

Nation’s Top Offense Resides on Rocky Top
UT’s high-powered attack is No. 1 in the nation in total offense (538.1), scoring offense (47.3), passing efficiency (181.59) and rushing touchdowns (39). The Vols are third in passing offense (332.3) and fifth in completion percentage (68.8). The Big Orange have amassed a school-record and nation-best 568 points, shattering last year’s record of 511. Tennessee also leads the SEC in numerous offensive categories, including scoring offense, total offense, passing offense, completion percentage, fewest interceptions (3), passing efficiency, passing yards per completion (14.72), first downs (310) and rushing touchdowns.

Heupel Coach of the Year Finalist
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel has earned some well-deserved recognition for the job he’s done on Rocky Top this season. In just his second year with the program, Heupel was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and is a finalist for both the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the George Munger Coach of the Year Award after leading UT to its first 10-win regular season since 2003.


Tennessee leads, 11-6-2
The Vols won six straight games in the series prior to losing the contest between the two programs in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta. This will mark the 20th meeting between the two storied programs and just the second time the two have faced off in a bowl game.


The Tigers are led by longtime head coach Dabo Swinney, who has guided the program to 161 victories, five College Football Playoff berths and a pair of CFP National Championships (2016 & 2018) during his 15-year tenure at Clemson.

True freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik will be making his first career start in Friday’s game after serving as the backup for the entire season. The Austin, Texas, native played the majority of the snaps in Clemson’s ACC Championship game victory over North Carolina, completing 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown in a 39-10 win. For the year, Klubnik has seen action in nine games and has thrown for 377 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Clemson has a deep group of pass catchers for Klubnik to work with, including four players with four or more touchdown receptions on the year. Antonio Williams leads the receiving corps with 53 catches for 563 yards and four scores while Davis Allen and Beaux Collins both have five touchdown catches each.

The Tigers’ most dynamic offensive weapon is running back Will Shipley, who ranks third in the ACC with 1,110 rushing yards and is tied for 12th nationally with 15 rushing touchdowns. The sophomore back also ranks third on the team with 34 receptions for 221 yards.

Once again, Clemson had one of the nation’s top defenses, ranking 19th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 20.1 points per game. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. led the team with 83 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks while adding a pair of interceptions and a forced fumble on the year.