After a disappointing Week 1 win over Appalachian State, Tennessee appeared to find its footing in the Battle at Bristol, a matchup against Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway. In front of an NCAA-record crowd of 156,990 people, the No. 17 Volunteers shook off an early 14–0 deficit to easily down the Hokies 45–24. Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs finished with three passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and 197 total yards, while Virginia Tech dug itself into a hole with four turnovers, all on fumbles. Although the outcome was settled by midway through the fourth quarter, the game lived up to the hype it generated in terms of spectacle, bringing college football to a stunning new venue.