Fulmer relying on seniors

IRVING, Texas -- Tennessee has relied heavily on its seniors this football season, and head coach Phillip Fulmer expects to do so again in Saturday's Cotton Bowl game with Texas A&M. He's hoping they can finish their careers on a high note.

''It is a great time for them,'' Fulmer said. ''You would like to believe they have a chance to go out on top. This could be their third 10-win season. You would love for that to be the case. They have been incredible leaders for this young football team. Our captains particularly, but really our whole senior class has been special.''

The Southeastern Eastern Division Champions will be looking to snap a two-game bowl losing streak on Saturday. Tennessee has dropped four of its last five bowl games including its last appearance in the Cotton Bowl in 2001 against Kansas State.

''I hope they are more focused,'' Fulmer said. ''Not that we weren't focused before, but we didn't get it done the last couple of years. We have to play well against a really good team. I think they are certainly aware of that.''

The Vols held their final major workout Thursday, practicing for 90 minutes in shorts and shoulder pads. Among those in attendance were former Vols Preston Warren and Bill Bates. Warren played for Tennessee from 1987-90. Bates played for the Volunteers from 1979-82 before embarking on a 14-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Bates also accompanied Tennessee officials earlier in the week to the visitation for the family of the late Reggie White. White, a former Tennessee consensus All-American, passed away early Sunday morning. In tribute to White, the Volunteers will wear a patch with an orange cross and his jersey number 92 on their helmets in Saturday's game.

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