Running through the "T" has been a tradition that has flowed through the veins of the Tennessee football program since 1964, but for one game every season, the pre-game ritual takes on an added significance.

Every Senior Night, the Vols honor those who are playing their last game inside Neyland Stadium by allowing those individuals to run through the iconic band formation one-by-one.

For 28 members of Team 117, that experience will be theirs on Saturday when the Vols play the Vanderbilt Commodores.

"It should be a great opportunity for our seniors on senior night in Neyland," head coach Butch Jones said. "This is a game you always remember – your last game at home."

But the game is more than just an experience for the seniors; it's also an opportunity for the group to end their careers on a strong note and continue to lay the ground work for what Jones wants the future to hold.

"It is not as tough as it seems, because when you see someone leading you like Coach Jones, you see what he is trying to institute into a program that you love," senior offensive lineman James Stone said. "You take pride in that, and you take pride in trying to build what he is trying to build. It is something special."

On a night like Saturday, however, it wouldn't be difficult for these players to let their emotions get the best of them, something Jones knows he has to help his guys prepare for during the week.

"You always guard against the emotional factor as a coach," he said. "We don't want an emotional football team, we want a passionate, energetic football team. I think sometimes seniors plan their last home game forgetting the task at hand.

"They'll be able to reflect back when it comes February. So right now, we have a great challenge ahead of us."

For Stone, he understands the upcoming emotion-filled night could be a potential distraction, but the Nashville, Tenn., native plans on keeping himself busy to avoid being sidetracked.

"It can be (a distraction) when you are off campus, but once you get into the complex, you see everyone else focused on the game," Stone said. "This makes it easier for me to get focused when I am around the team. I am trying to spend as much of my time in the complex and school to keep myself busy and be ready to go."

Senior Night isn't the only reason why Saturday is important, however.

Sitting at 4-6, the Vols need to win out to be eligible for a bowl berth, so a UT defeat of the Commodores is necessary if UT plans on snapping a two-year bowl drought.

"We can't get to a bowl game if we don't win game No. 5, and that's kind of the biggest focus right now is taking it one game at a time," senior kicker Michael Palardy said. "We obviously have an ultimate goal, and we want to reach that goal, but there's different steps you have to take to get there."

Even with so much on the line in terms of how his first year as Tennessee's head football coach is viewed, Jones wants his seniors to enjoy the moment, because they may never know when their last snap in this game can come.

"They mean everything, and we always talk about in our football program and here at Tennessee," Jones said. "It's very special to be a senior. You only get the opportunity one time in your life to be a senior."