Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (20) escapes from Auburn linebacker Anthony Swain to score a touchdown in the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 9. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's seniors head into their home finale Saturday hoping to keep the Volunteers' bowl hopes alive by avenging one of the most humiliating losses of their careers.
Vanderbilt beat Tennessee 41-18 last year, which represented the Commodores' largest margin of victory in this annual series since 1954. Tennessee had won 28 of its last 29 games with Vanderbilt before that 2012 blowout. Tennessee fired former coach Derek Dooley the day after the game.
Tennessee defensive end Marlon Walls says "we're definitely motivated not to let that happen again."
Revenge isn't the only motivation for Tennessee (4-6, 1-5 SEC).
Tennessee needs to win both its remaining regular-season games against Vanderbilt and Nov. 30 at Kentucky to become bowl eligible. Vanderbilt (6-4, 3-4) already is bowl eligible.