Hundreds of students lined the hallways of the University Center early Monday morning.
They were waiting to claim tickets for the UT vs. NC State Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Friday. Many students arrived more than twelve hours before ticket distributions began at 8 a.m. on Monday, bringing with them lawn chairs, hammocks, TVs, game systems and cornhole to pass the time.
Students reserved their tickets ahead of time at a fixed price, but seats were assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Sam Thomas, senior in journalism and electronic media, said getting good seats was worth a night in the streets.
"We chose to camp out because this is the last football season of our college careers," Thomas said. "And this is the most anticipated game we have had in a long time. There was no hesitation, we decided to do whatever we had to in order to get the best seats."
Many students are hoping to witness a turnaround for UT football. After facing two losing seasons with the Vols, Thomas said he is hoping the opener will spark a flame of success for the team.
"The game in Atlanta is so special because it gives us a chance to prove ourselves on a national stage in the very beginning of the season," Thomas said. "If the Vols can make a statement in the Georgia Dome, it could set the tone for an SEC Championship run."
Sadly enough, Thomas's passion for UT football clashed with his desire to participate in class.
"Unfortunately, I had an 8 a.m. class that my teacher was none too pleased I would be missing," Thomas said. "I don't like to miss class, but this felt like a good enough reason."
While many students participated in this ticket distribution, the event failed to get good reviews. Thomas said he and other students missed classes, waited in two-hour long lines and were unable to purchase group seating.
"The University should be able to create a system in which students can get their tickets without missing any classes," Thomas said.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The line may have been long and students may have missed class, but they showed true support for their team. Lindsey Nesmith, senior in journalism and electronic media, said she is confident in the team's ability to succeed.
"The fact that hundreds of students would camp out for a night shows that Tennessee football is not dead," Nesmith said. "We, as students, have confidence in Dooley and the boys to get it done this year."