'Mo' crucial for Vols

When Tennessee scored to take a 28-6 lead last Saturday at Vanderbilt, the rout was on. Three missed tackles and one 80-yard pass play later, the rout was off. Spurred by the dramatic shift in momentum, the Commodores played the Vols off their feet the rest of the way, losing by a mere 38-33 score.

Clearly, momentum is crucial. That's why the Big Orange desperately needs to build some momentum for its upcoming SEC Championship Game showdown with Auburn, a team which hammered UT 34-10 two months ago. The best way to build that momentum is with a strong showing in this Saturday's regular-season finale against Kentucky. Senior linebacker/captain Kevin Burnett concedes as much.

''Every game is important and every game is a stepping stone,'' Burnett said. ''We have a ladder in the locker room and every game (represents) a step on the ladder. Right now, Kentucky is a huge step on the ladder because it's the next step.''

The top rung on that ladder, of course, is the SEC title.

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