"Vanderbilt has always been a tough football game and will always be a tough football game," said Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer. "We'll have to prepare well and go out and play."
"It's an in-state rivalry. This is their bowl game. This is their opportunity to make a splash. They have our attention."
Senior strong safety Gibril Wilson is playing some of the best football of his career. To some, Wilson is a new face in the crowd. However, for Fulmer, this is what the head coach expected all along.
"He's doing everything that we thought he could coming out of junior college," said Fulmer.
Richie Gandy is another player that is making some great strides according to Fulmer.
"I was impressed with his improvement," said Fulmer. "He's got to make himself practice hard, practice physical because it's not really his nature, but he's getting better."
With Arron Sears and Sean Young banged up, Gandy has thrown himself into the mix at right tackle along with Cody Douglas and Anthony Herrera. Other players of note who are nicked up include Corey Larkins and Omar Gaither.
Finally, Greg Jones has had a tough couple of days to say the least. About an hour before Saturday's game, Jones learned that several members of his family were in an automobile accident in Greenville, Ala. while they were on their way to the game.
Jones sister, who was seven months pregnant, died when the Ford Explorer she was riding in flipped over six times.
"She was killed on impact," said Jones. "She has very few scratches, but the doctors believed she died on impact."
"He wanted to come back and practice," Fulmer said. "We're certainly here for him and whatever he wants to do we'll work with him."