1. Get A Grip: Tennessee's fate possibly rests on whether quarterback Tyler Bray can grip the ball to pass accurately in his first game back from a fractured thumb. Vanderbilt's opportunistic secondary will be watching with keen interest.
2. Picks Parade Slows: That Vandy secondary isn't quite as opportunistic as it was in September. After four games, the 'Dores had 14 interceptions. They've added only one in the past six games and none in the past four. The Vols don't want to turn the tap back on.
3. The Weight: Tennessee has won 27 of the past 28 games against Vandy, including one when the Commodores were favored (2008) and one in which Vandy led 28-3 (1987). Does that history weigh heavy on either team tonight, particularly in a tight fourth quarter? The team that stays loose and plays closest to its potential is the likely winner.
4. Crossing (Off) Jordan: Tennessee's defense must stymie the dynamic duo of quarterback Jordan Rodgers and his favorite target, Jordan Matthews. Rodgers has averaged 285 yards total offense in his four starters. Matthews has a streak of three consecutive 100-yard receiving games.
5. Second-Half Empty: The Vols, incredibly, have not scored a point in the second half since Georgia on Oct. 8. That worked against MTSU but not in the SEC. It won't work tonight.