Vols have come a long way since last year’s Florida game

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren fights for yardage during last season’s 38-14 loss at Florida.

Several days after Tennessee clinched bowl eligibility last November with a rout of South Alabama, first-year coach Josh Heupel said he and his staff never put a ceiling on what the Volunteers could accomplish.

With the second version of Heupel's Vols on the cusp of being a top-10 team, why start now with division rival Florida coming to town?

"I think that helped create buy-in with our players, because we've never set a ceiling on what we could or could not do," Heupel said Monday during a news conference. "Last year, this was a ball game that helped in the turning point inside of our program. Obviously we didn't come out on top and there were a lot of things we didn't do right, but we reset on that Monday and were just able to show how everything unfolded, which created a ton of buy-in, too.