UT-Fresno game on ESPN2

University of Tennessee football fans may not realize how tough the Vols' football opener with Fresno State could be, but the folks at ESPN obviously do.

In anticipation of a close and intriguing matchup, the sports-oriented cable network has bought broadcast rights to the Aug. 30 game and scheduled it for a 3 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2.

Fresno State is coming off a 9-5 season in 2002 which concluded with a 30-21 defeat of Georgia Tech in the Silicon Valley Classic. The Bulldogs return an explosive offense, featuring perhaps the finest passing attack the Vols will face all season.

Tennessee, meanwhile, is coming off an 8-5 season that closed with a whimper -- a 30-3 loss to Maryland in the Peach Bowl. The Vol offense that did not explode in 2002 but routinely imploded. Minus the top two pass-catchers from that attack -- tight end Jason Witten and wideout Kelley Washington -- Tennessee shapes up as something of a mystery team this fall.

That adds even more intrigue to an opener that should keep UT and Fresno fans glued to ESPN2.

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