KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU football team was scheduled to open the 2023 season at home against Tennessee on September 2nd. But the Vols have opted out and will play Virginia instead in Nashville, leaving a hole in BYU’s first non-conference slate as a member of the Big 12 Conference.
Tennessee will reportedly pay BYU a $2 million penalty as a buyout, according to knoxnews.com.
“Pivoting to play a marquee nonconference opponent in Nashville made sense for multiple reasons,” said Tennessee athletic director Danny White. “This is a more accessible game for our fanbase. I expect that we will have a much larger contingent of fans in Nashville than would have been able to travel to Utah.”
In 2019, BYU traveled to Neyland Stadium in 2019, and beat the Volunteers in overtime, 29-26. Tennessee was slated to play at LaVell Edwards Stadium for the first time ever, but now that game has been canceled.
Last week, BYU canceled four games against Utah State from 2023 through 2026. It is unclear if BYU will try to reschedule the 2023 game now that Tennessee has opted out. Utah State already has a game scheduled for September 2nd, 2023 at Iowa.
As of now, BYU will play Arkansas and Southern Utah in 2023 before it begins its first Big 12 Conference slate.