Vols look to earn first bowl win since 2008 in Taxslayer Bowl
The Tennessee Volunteers accomplished their season-long goal of making their first postseason appearance since 2010. Now, the Vols look to capture their first bowl win in almost six years.
Tennessee accepted a bid to face the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) in the Taxslayer Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015 in Jacksonville, Fla. The game marks the third meeting between the two teams, with the all-time series tied at 1-1.
2014 is an important season in Butch Jones’ “brick by brick” rebuilding process. The second-year coach has preached his plan for restoring the program throughout his tenure.
Tennessee has gone from a perennial contender to a program fortunate to make a postseason game. The bowl game will mark a checkpoint in the Vols’ road to redemption.
All season, Tennessee has tried to send a message to the SEC that it is farther in its rebuilding process than most expected. The Vols can make a statement on the national stage with a victory over a solid non-conference opponent.
With a win, Tennessee will end its season with its first winning record in five years. Jones will also be able to add to his success on the recruiting trail, gaining another incentive with a postseason victory to support the team’s plan for a turnaround.
Despite coming off a 5-7 season, the Vols singed the a top-5 recruiting class in 2014 that saw playing time as freshmen. Thirty-two of the 71 players that appeared in the Vols’ season opener were freshmen. The previous record for freshman debuts in Week 1 was 12 in 2010.
Tennessee will add to its success on the recruiting trail by boasting a winning record to go along with Jones’ tactics. The Vols’ bowl game appearance represents another brick in Jones’ rebuilding plan and will serve as a checkpoint in the team’s quest to restore its glory.