1. Be Here Now: Bowls are the least predictable game on the schedule. It's been 34 days since Tennessee beat Kentucky and virtually impossible to sustain that momentum. Bowl success is often about which teams want to be there and which teams are going through the motions. The Vols should have ample motivation to play well.
2. The Butch Factor: Tennessee's November rally included wins over three first-year head coaches. Butch Davis is a proven commodity. Assume that has made a difference in preparation and that it could make a difference in the heat of battle.
3. Limit T.J.'s TDs: Tennessee's secondary has to step up against Tar Heels quarterback T.J. Yates. The Vols would help themselves hugely with an interception or two. Yates threw only eight picks all year but his two multi-interception games (four against Virginia Tech, two against Miami) were both losses.
4. Protect The Kid: With little expectation for success on the ground, Tennessee is putting the game in Tyler Bray's hands. The rookie quarterback needs to be protected against a decent pass rush. All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick Quinton Coples has 8.5 sacks, which ranks top five nationally among defensive tackles.
5. Fagiddaboutit: History has proven a bowl win doesn't assure success the following year. Nor does a loss portend doom to come. Win or lose, Vol fans should keep in mind that this game is tied to 2010, not 2011.