By Stephen K. Lee
Tennessee is 26-24 all-time in bowls and the Vols are playing in their 33rd January bowl game and second in a row. UT defeated Iowa, 45-28, in last year’s TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
Tennessee’s last game against a Big Ten team was its 45-28 win over Iowa in last year’s TaxSlayer Bowl.
Several of UT’s games against current Big Ten teams have been in bowl games. The Vols are 10-10 against current members of the league in bowl games.
The Vols are making their fourth appearance in the Outback Bowl, which was previously known as the Hall of Fame Bowl. UT is 2-1 all-time in the bowl. Tennessee defeated Boston College, 38-23, in the 1993 Hall of Fame Bowl, fell to Penn State, 20-10, in the 2007 Outback Bowl and beat Wisconsin, 21-17, in the 2008 Outback Bowl.
Butch Jones has led the Vols to back-to-back bowls for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 seasons and consecutive bowls under the same head coach for the first time since the 2006 and 2007 seasons under Phillip Fulmer.
Tennessee became bowl eligible on Nov. 14, its earliest date to earn win number six since 2007 (Nov. 3).
The Vols are 4-1 all-time in games played in Tampa, Fla. Butch Jones began his career as an intern in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987-89. He was a ball boy at Super Bowl XXV and retrieved Scott Norwood’s wide-right field goal attempt.