Florida State's close call enabled Tennessee to leap-frog the Seminoles and into the No. 4 slot in this week's Coaches Poll. The close call should also help keep the Vols from taking Wyoming too lightly. The Big Orange has other advantages in its favor heading into Saturday's game, as well.
First, the game is being played in Nashville, where fan support for UT is rabid. Even Fulmer noted that the setting is ''a friendly atmosphere ... like playing an away game really at home.''
In addition, the 5:30 EDT kickoff should benefit the Vols. For one thing, Tennessee's players should be more acclimated to the mid-day heat and humidity than the visiting Cowboys. For another, Tennessee has better depth, which will allow the Vols to substitute more frequently in the oppressive heat. Fulmer hinted at these points when he noted that the Vols are a ''well-conditioned team playing an afternoon game.... I'm encouraged that we can play a number of people.''