Vols close out regular season against Vandy

Published 8:52 am Friday, November 24, 2023

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No. 25 Tennessee will be looking to close out the regular season with a victory as in-state rival Vanderbilt comes to town for a Saturday afternoon showdown at Neyland Stadium.

Saturday’s contest will be Senior Day for a handful of UT players who have helped the program make massive strides over the past three seasons.

“There are a lot of special guys that have been here, stayed the course and have helped put the pillars of this program back together and in place,” head coach¬†Josh Heupel¬†said on Monday. “A lot of guys are extremely special. Need to send them out the right way.”

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Aside from sending the seniors out with a win in their final game at Neyland Stadium, the Vols will be aiming to end a rare two-game skid after suffering back-to-back losses to Missouri and Georgia over the last two weeks.

“They’ve had two weeks of preparation, opportunity to get healthy,” Heupel said about this weekend’s matchup against the Commodores. “This is an in-state game. This is a big game for them, it’s a big game for us, too. We need to go finish it. You have to play physical, you have to win at the line of scrimmage. I just mentioned it, we have to win some one on ones in this one, too.”

Despite coming off consecutive defeats, Heupel said he liked the energy from the team during Monday’s session on the practice field and is confident it will be prepared to finish the regular season the right way this weekend.

“This is a prideful group, I’ve said that. We haven’t always played as well as we think we can at certain portions of football games,” Heupel added. “At the end of the day, there’s a lot of work that goes into it from the time they step foot back on campus in January. This is our next opportunity, need to go take full advantage of it. Once we got out on the grass today, I liked the energy from them.”