The Tennessee Volunteers (4-7, 0-7 SEC) will be host to the Kentucky Wildcats (2-9, 0-7 SEC) in the last game the seniors will be running through the "T."
"Every year you have a group of seniors that you look up to and watched over you, and you just want to play for them and send them out with a good win," sophomore linebacker A.J. Johnson said.
"I think if you talk about the 13 kids, they have seen a lot in their years here," interim head coach Jim Chaney said. "They have worked hard this year. We didn't get the results that we would have liked as far as wins and losses. But they went out and played hard. Our kids would really appreciate any support the fans would give them. I think their pledge to the fans would be that they are going to try their butts off to beat Kentucky."
Chaney finds himself in a unique situation this Saturday. After head coach Derek Dooley was terminated on Sunday, UT Athletic Director Dave Hart asked Chaney to be the interim head coach.
"Quite honestly I have been asked and I am humbled by the fact that Dave (Hart) thought I would be a good candidate to do this," Chaney said. "I am excited about the opportunity. As far as auditioning or something like that, I haven't thought about that. I am trying to help some kids heal from some wounds and put a team on the field with the right attitude to go win a game. As far as me personally, that is my only goal. I have no objectives, nothing here. I am going to do as good as I can to go represent the university, the community and this program the best I possibly can."
The Volunteers are coming off of a tough loss to Vanderbilt, 41-18. At one point, junior quarterback Tyler Bray was benched. The decision to bench Bray was Dooley's decision, but Chaney recommended it.
"I thought we needed a change and to let Tyler sit down, calm down, watch the game a little bit and basically get his hiney in his pants a little bit," Chaney said. "I thought it helped a little bit, but at the end of the day it wasn't all about the quarterback play. I don't believe that any area of our offense produced the way they have customarily been doing it all season and it harmed us."
The loss to the Commodores kept the Vols from going to a bowl game for a second straight year. However, the players want to send the seniors out on a high note.
"I felt like it was letting these seniors down because they've been through a lot, been through three or four coaching staffs," sophomore offensive lineman Antonio "Tiny" Richardson said. "I just have so much respect for them to go through all the adversity they've (been) through these past few years, and just to keep smiles on their face and keep going."
Kickoff is at 12:21 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.