“We are going to wear the grays,” said Jones. “(It’s) something we have spoken about. Our players, we talk about that. We talked about the gray becoming more standard a little bit in our football program.
“It is something with our seniors that they wanted to do. I think it is a reward for them. It is not a big deal. The uniforms don’t have any outcome or bearing in the game, it is our mentality, it is our focus, it is our effort, it is how we execute and it is our overall discipline.”
Jones said the decision to wear the Smokey Grays showed a sign of team solidarity.
“It was their decision,” he said. “Just like we do every week. Our players staff chooses what we are doing and obviously I get the final say. But we talked to the seniors about it and it is their last home game.”
Tennessee first wore the Smokey Gray uniforms for the Georgia game back on Oct. 5, as the Vols suffered a heartbreaking 34-31 loss in overtime.
Jones originally unveiled the Vols’ alternate adidas TECHFIT uniforms on Aug. 15, as the team’s media day at a fashion show. Saturday will be just the fourth time since the 1930s that the Vols will wear something other than orange-based uniforms on Shields-Watkins Field. The team wore white-based throwbacks in the 2004 season opener and wore black jerseys on Halloween night in 2009 in addition to the Georgia game.
Freshman ready to lead seniors
When the seniors run through the ‘T’ one last time on Saturday against Vanderbilt, it won’t just be families and fans cheering them on- quarterback Josh Dobbs will be one of their biggest cheerleaders.
Although Dobbs will only be playing his second game in Neyland Stadium, the true freshman understands the importance of beating the Vanderbilt Commodores. Not only is it senior night but also a rivalry game important to the SEC and the state of Tennessee and coming off an open date, Dobbs believes the Volunteers are prepared for the ‘Dores trip to Knoxville.
“It’s just a big game, of course a lot of tradition behind the rivalry, so we’re focused on what we have to do to execute in order to play the best football game we can,” Dobbs said.
With two weeks to prepare for Vanderbilt, Dobbs and the wide receiver unit have been able to put in extra work to better their chemistry on and off the field.
“Bye weeks are great,” said Dobbs. “We were able to regroup and focus in on this goal. Last week was good just to get our feet under us and continue to grow and improve as a team. It’s a big week of preparation.”
Dobbs and wide receivers such as Marquez North and Alton “Pig” Howard take every chance they get to run routes and Dobbs notices improvements each time.
“They’ve been doing a good job getting open and running their routes for me, so that’s always great, as well as the other receivers- our receivers are doing a good job,” Dobbs said. “Everyone on the receiving corp just works hard every day and is willing to.”
The Volunteers must win their final two games to be bowl eligible and Dobbs is confident in the next task at hand in their final home game against Vandy.
“We’re trying to get to a bowl game and it’s extremely big for the seniors to make it to a bowl game, so every day we’re working hard for that these next two games and to make it to a bowl in December,” said Dobbs.