"3rd Down for What" is energizing Vol Nation - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

"3rd Down for What" is energizing Vol Nation

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KNOXVILLE (WBIR) - (WBIR) - What in the world is 3rd Down for What!?!?!

If you didn't go to UT's home opener against Utah State last week, you may be a little confused. And so was Utah State! The Aggies converted only three out of 14 attempts at third down on Sunday. Part of the reason for that could be a crowd and team electrified by a new Vol tradition.

The chant supports the defense and provides another distraction for the opposing players, and a new SEC rule made it possible.

Until this year, music had to stop playing in the stadium when the players broke the huddle. Now, stadiums can play any sound, recorded or from the band, until the center is over the ball.

"Immediately Coach Jones wanted to get an edge. He came to us, he said 'we need something for the players, the fans, for everybody for the game,'" said Jimmy Delaney, UT's assistant athletic director for sales and marketing.

With that extra 10 to 15 seconds to work with, a group of folks that work on game day atmosphere got together to brainstorm.

"We were throwing around everything, and we wanted something that was catchy," said Delaney. "Someone was actually goofing around and said 'what about 3rd down for what'. And we all kind of chuckled, and as we went around, we're like 'oh, it really sticks, there's a lot we can do with it."

It's a play on words from the popular song "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon.

"The first time that we played it, it was just absolutely amazing to see the entire fan base just get into it. I think the students were you know, throwing their arms up and down, and I looked around and I saw fans of all generations and ages dancing or singing along," said Delaney. "It was absolutely electric."

And it's really catching on.

Just to see them guys out there, like AJ Johnson and them out there, just jumping up and down, and pumping up on the microphone, it was awesome," said fan Chris Raymond, who just brought a brand new t-shirt featuring the new catch phase.

They're flying off the shelves at Vols merchandise stores like Hound Dogs and the Vol Shop.

"We just got them in today," said Hound Dogs' Jesse Thomason. "The slogans are great. And this, since Coach Jones has come in, we've been real popular with all of the different slogans. Brick by Brick, One Tennessee, 3rd Down For What, so I've had a lot of people ask about them."

"Yeah, I'm gonna wear this shirt tomorrow," said Raymond.

Read more at WBIR.

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