KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Butch Jones should savor the first game of his Tennessee coaching tenure. It may represent one of the few times in his debut season that his team takes the field as a prohibitive favorite.
Tennessee opens the Jones era Saturday by hosting Austin Peay, a Football Championship Subdivision program that went 2-9 last year and has dropped 16 consecutive road games. This should serve as a virtual dress rehearsal for the tougher tests that await the Volunteers, though Jones is taking nothing for granted.
Austin Peay also is ushering in a new era under Kirby Cannon, who was hired in March after predecessor Rick Christophel left to become the Arizona Cardinals' tight ends coach. Austin Peay is facing a Southeastern Conference team for the first time ever.