WATCH: Tennessee Football Practice Highlights – Week 12

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    Tennessee Practice

    Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker at the Vols’ practice on Tuesday. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

    The Tennessee Volunteers football team, led by head coach Josh Heupel in his first season, is just one win away from bowl eligibility with the season winding down.

    Tennessee will welcome in South Alabama this Saturday night to Neyland Stadium and then will host Vanderbilt in the regular-season finale in Knoxville the week after.

    With five wins on the season to date, the Vols have an excellent chance to become bowl eligible before they even play Vanderbilt. The last time the Vols were bowl eligible was to close the 2019 season, with Tennessee taking down Indiana in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl in January of 2020.

    On Monday afternoon, Heupel spoke about what it would mean for the team to become bowl eligible in their first year together.

    “It’s big because it shows progress in year one, just over the course of the season,” Heupel said. “But then, the practices on the back end of it are instrumental in continuing to develop your young guys. You get another few weeks with them, strength and conditioning in the weight room, too. All those things are huge as you push your program forward. The big thing for us is just focusing on this week, though. I think that’s really important. Our football team understands that when you play good opponents like we did last Saturday against Georgia, they’re going to make some plays, right? And we’re going to compete and make plays, too. Controlling what we can control and being in the right spot at the right time are the things that we have to continue to get better at to be the absolute best that we can. It’s in some ways—not really in some ways, it is—you’re in a race against yourself. Our kids are taking great pride, they care. They were hurt by the end result of last Saturday, but shoot, we go out on the grass today and they’re ready to compete, work, and get better.”

    As the Vols prepare for the week ahead, the team was back on the practice fields on Tuesday.

    In the footage below, Tennessee players and coaches can be seen going through a variety of drills in practice on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field.

    Video courtesy of Tennessee Athletics.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.