published Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Tennessee Vols to wear gray again for Vanderbilt

  • photo
    University of Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt models a new gray uniform during media day at Neyland Stadium.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE -- They're coming back.

The Tennessee Volunteers will wear the smokey gray alternate uniforms that were introduced in August for the second time this season in Saturday night's home finale against Vanderbilt.

The Vols narrowly missed an upset of Georgia when they debuted the look against the Bulldogs in October.

First-year coach Butch Jones approved the decision of his team's 12-man player staff.

"It's just something we've spoken about," Jones said following Tuesday's practice. "Our players, we talk about that. We've talked about the gray becoming more standard a little bit in our football program, so it's just something with our seniors that they wanted to do, and I think it's a reward for them.

"It's not a big deal. Again, the uniforms don't have any bearing in the game. It's our mentality, it's our focus, it's our effort and it's how we execute and our overall discipline."

With two games remaining, Tennessee -- coming off blowout losses to Alabama, Missouri and Auburn -- needs to beat the Commodores, who clinched bowl eligibility with their sixth win last week, and then win at Kentucky next week.

The Vols haven't been to a bowl game since 2010, when they won their final four regular-season games to get to six wins.

"Bowl games are something that happen around here," linebacker Dontavis Sapp said. "We shouldn't have to struggle to get to bowl games. We should expect that every year."

It's the primary goal for these Vols, and it would be a nice step for Jones in his inaugural season at Tennssee.

"That was our goal as a team," said freshman quarterback Josh Dobbs, who will make his third career start Saturday. "When we came in from day one, we were trying to make it to a bowl game. It's extremely big for these seniors to make it to a bowl game, so every day we're working hard for them to win these next two games and make it to a bowl game in December."

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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