Three weeks ago, in the 44-6 rolling of Kentucky at Neyland Stadium, No. 5 Tennessee introduced a new black helmet for the first time in program history. Now the Vols will debut another new look this weekend at South Carolina — an orange helmet.
The usual white road jersey and white pants will be paired with an orange helmet, featuring a white face mask, a white helmet stripe and white Power T’s on each side.
Tennessee (9-1, 5-1 SEC) and South Carolina (6-4, 3-4) are scheduled for a 7 p.m. Eastern Time kickoff Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
Orange helmet is fourth different helmet for Vols this season
The orange helmet is the fourth different one the Vols will have worn this season, to go with the traditional white helmet, the black helmet with the ‘Dark Mode’ alternate uniform and the Smokey Grey helmet.
The black helmet featured a black face mask with an orange stripe and orange Power T’s. The Smokey Grey helmet has multiple shades of grey, with the Smokey Mountains on the back to go with a grey face mask, orange stripe that includes a checkerboard pattern on the back, and orange Power T’s.
The ‘Dark Mode’ uniform added the black helmet to an alternate uniform that made its debut last season, with black pants and black jerseys trimmed with orange stripes on the pants and orange numerals on the jerseys. A white helmet trimmed in black — orange Power T’s and an orange helmet stripe outlined in black, with a black face mask — was worn last season.
Tennessee wore its traditional orange-on-white home uniform in the 66-24 win over Missouri on Saturday. The same uniform was worn in the 52-49 win over then-No. 3 Alabama on October 15 and in the 38-33 win over Florida on September 24. The all-orange look — orange pants and orange jerseys — were worn at home in both the 63-6 win over Akron on September 17 and the 65-24 homecoming win over UT Martin on October 22.
No. 5 Tennessee at South Carolina, 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, ESPN
Tennessee wore orange pants with its traditional white road jersey and white helmet in the 27-13 loss against No. 1 Georgia on November 5 at Sanford Stadium in Athens. The Vols wore their Smokey Grey alternate uniform in the 40-13 win over No. 7 LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on October 8. The all-white look was worn in the overtime win at Pitt on. September 10, the first road game of the season.
The Vols in August announced the return of the Smokey Grey alternate uniform as part of the Smokey Grey Series. The alternate uniform, which made its Nike debut in 2015 and had not been worn since 2017, will be worn at least once in each of the next three seasons, “with potential to scale beyond” 2025, according to a Tennessee press release.
There will be a new Smokey Grey uniform design each season beginning in 2023 and continuing through 2025. The concepts, according to the Vols, “will honor the past, celebrate the present and embrace the future of Tennessee football.”