5 Big Things
1. Bowl A Strike: Bowl bids were once a sure thing. From 1981-2004, Tennessee went bowling 23 of 24 years, and 47 total appearances rank third behind Alabama and Texas. But after missing in 2005 and 2008, holiday trips are no longer taken for granted. Lane Kiffin's sixth win today would clinch No. 48.
2. Walking (On) Tall: With UT's defense battered by injuries and disciplinary remedies, several walk-ons will probably be called on tonight. Grab a roster and circle these names: Tyler Wolf (Cookeville), Shane Reveiz (Farragut) and Jake Storey (Titusville, Fla.)
3. Lean On The O: If ever there were a night Tennessee's offense needs to carry the defense, this is it. Vanderbilt's defense ranks last in the SEC and 107th in the nation against the run. Montario right, Bryce left, then repeat. Avoid three-and-outs. Long drives encouraged.
4. Magic Number -8?: Vanderbilt scored 45 points on opening day against Western Carolina. In seven SEC games, however, the 'Dores have rustled up a combined 55 points, an average of 7.85. They have scored four offensive touchdowns in SEC play, equalling Dexter McCluster's total last week against the Vols.
5. Party Like It's 2003: That's when Tennessee put a 48-0 whipping on Vandy in Neyland Stadium. Since then, nobody's left early. The Commodores rallied for a 28-24 upset win in 2005. UT's 25-24 victory in 2007 wasn't a done deal until a Vandy field goal barely missed in the final minute. The 'Dores led 24-9 in the third quarter of that one behind the passing of Mackenzi Adams, who will be at QB again tonight.