Matchups to watch
Tennessee's secondary vs. Vandy WR Jordan Matthews: After three solid quarters defending Missouri, UT's cornerbacks and safeties surrendered four passing touchdowns at the end of regulation and overtime last week. Matthews will be hungry to exploit UT's struggling secondary. He caught nine passes for 153 yards and a touchdown at Ole Miss last week and is just 211 receiving yards shy of breaking the program record set by Boo Mitchell (1,213 yards) in 1988.
Vandy's momentum vs. Tennessee's decline: The Commodores bring a four-game winning streak into a home game against its biggest rival, while the Vols, awash in a coaching controversy, are languishing along, winless in the SEC. Vanderbilt is trying to improve its bowl positioning, while UT needs two wins just to be bowl eligible. Who really wants this game more?
UT QB Tyler Bray: Regardless of the Vols' many troubles, Bray has been laser sharp of late. He's thrown 13 touchdowns in the past three games and completed more than 60 percent of his passes each game. Bray's 29 touchdown passes rank fifth nationally and he's sixth in the NCAA in both passing yards (3,216) and passing yards per game (321.6).
Vanderbilt DE Walker Mays: The senior was named SEC defensive lineman of week following the Commodores' victory against Ole Miss. Mays set career highs with six solo tackles and three tackles for loss and now boasts a career-high 31 tackles (eight for loss) and two sacks for the season.
Tennessee's kick return coverage: The Vols allowed a costly 87-yard touchdown kickoff return for a touchdown to Missouri's Jimmie Hunt last weekend in a game that ultimately went into overtime.
Vandy's rushing attack: Senior running back Zac Stacy, the program's all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, is hobbled with a bum leg, but is listed as probable. He's carried the ball just 18 times in the past three games. Vandy is 1-4 this season when outgained on the ground by opponents.
Tweets of the week
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit responding to fan's question
"@ColtonBrackett: do u think the VOLS will beat Vandy and UK?#bowl eligible" do you seriously want to go to a bowl this yr? Go find a coachFootball Time in Tennessee magazine
Garza committed violations at UT, denied them, took the USC job, admitted to them, committed more violations & resigned. Yet UT is punished.ESPN's Skip Bayless
Congrats to my alma mater, Vanderbilt: Bowl eligible for 2nd straight year. All that and got robbed in opener vs. South Carolina.Vandy coach James Franklin
Few tickets left 4 game but ONLY 4 VU fans, ticket office has been instructed 2 only sell 2 our people, let's pack the house w/ Black & Gold
Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 24
Not to pile on, but UT coach Derek Dooley is 1-10 in league road games and nine of Bray's 10 interceptions this year have come against SEC teams. If there is a reason to pick UT this week, I don't see it.