Still, the Vols have a long way to go to approach the home-field dominance they exhibited during the late 1990s. The Big Orange won 31 of 32 games played on Shields-Watkins Field between 1995 and 1999.
Here's a season-by-season recap:
7-0 in '95
5-1 in '96
6-0 in '97
6-0 in '98
7-0 in '99
Tennessee was still potent at home in 2000 and 2001, going 5-1 each year. Between 2002 and 2006, however, the Vols' home-field advantage eroded considerably.
2003: Tennessee went 6-1 at home but the setback was a 41-14 shellacking at the hands of Georgia.
2005: Tennessee went 3-3 at home, suffering its first loss in more than two decades to Vanderbilt.
Reclaiming their home-field advantage was a preseason priority for the Vols this fall, and they are honoring that pledge to date. Junior defensive end Robert Ayers says he and his teammates can't take anything for granted, however.
"It's the SEC, so you never get too comfortable, no matter where you're playing," he said. "Mississippi State went in and beat Auburn at Auburn, which is a pretty tough place to win. People get beat everywhere on a given Saturday, so you've got to have your A-game ready."