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Vols Should Feel Right at Home in TaxSlayer Bowl

Football Time-1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Coaches often say that the key to winning on the road or at neutral site games is keeping things as normal as possible for their team. Obviously, bowl games offer a variety of events and distractions that don’t normally accompany a home game in Knoxville, so keeping things “normal” for a team that full of players who have never attended a bowl game may be easier said than done – and this trip for Tennessee has not come without its fair share of perceived distractions

The week leading up to this Friday’s game for Tennessee has featured a little of everything for the players; arcade stops, multiple press conferences, a stop at a “Panasonic gift suite” to select their bowl gifts, a rib eating contest, beach parties and even a visit to Jacksonville’s Wolfson Children’s Hospital by selected players. But participating in all of the unique events that come with playing in a bowl game doesn’t mean that the Vols will be abandoning all of the traditions of a game day in Knoxville.

While they won’t be exiting the team buses at the Torchbearer statue or taking their pregame stroll down Peyton Manning Pass for the Vol Walk, there will be a very traditional feel for Team 118 once they arrive at EverBank Field on Friday for the TaxSlayer Bowl.

As was announced when the Tennessee was selected for this game on December 7th, the Vols will be participating as the “home team” against Iowa this week, and it appears that they are taking that statement as literal as possible.

The team will slap the familiar “I will give my all for Tennessee today!” sign as they exit the locker room.

Their end zone will feature the iconic orange and white checkerboard pattern, which, in case you were unaware, is not very common for the Vols in bowl games.

But the crew at EverBank Field appears to have done an outstanding job.

And, as if everything else wasn’t enough, it was announced on Wednesday that Tennessee will be wearing their traditional home uniform with orange jerseys and white pants against Iowa on Friday.

So while the banks of the Tennessee River may be a few hundred miles away, it appears that the Vols aren’t going to let a little geographical variance deter them from treating Friday’s game like a home contest.

And if it’s true that Iowa fans have only purchased 4,008 tickets of the over 60,000 sold for the TaxSlayer Bowl, then the expected pro-Vol crowd at EverBank Field may give the team yet another reason to feel right at home.  Heck, who knows…They may even hear Rocky Top played a time or two.

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