As voted on by the seniors who will be participating in their last home game of their careers, the Vols will run out of the "T" for Saturday's game against the Vanderbilt Commodores wearing UT's alternate "Smokey" gray uniforms.

Tennessee's only previous time wearing the new uniforms came in an overtime loss to Georgia on Oct. 5.

Head coach Butch Jones said Tuesday he wishes to more firmly establish gray as part of the future of the football program.

"We talked about the gray becoming more standard a little bit in our football program," Jones said. "So it's just something with our seniors that they wanted to do."

Most of the Vols' seniors committed to play for Lane Kiffin before his notoriously abrupt departure to USC.

However, they stuck to their commitment and played their first three seasons under Derek Dooley, only one of which ended in a bowl game.

Now with a new head coach, the seniors are looking to end their careers on a high by earning a bowl bid. To do that, they'll need to beat Vanderbilt and close the season with a win at Kentucky next week.

Senior defensive lineman Jacques Smith has already been preparing for his last home game at Tennessee.

"It's going to be an emotional moment," Smith said. "Especially being able to play one at night for my last one, it's going to be a very special night."

Jones, however, wants to keep emotions out until the the season is over.

"It's not time for emotions," Jones said. "It's not time to reflect on the past. You do that in February. We have a couple games left and you have to focus on the task at hand.

"It's another game. You'll be able to go back and reflect on that in years to come, but now's not the time and the place."

In-State Rivalry

The Vols were left with a bitter taste in their mouth last year after losing to Vanderbilt 41-18, which led to Dooley's firing.

This defeat came the year after video surfaced online of the team celebrating in the locker room after beating Vanderbilt in 2011, which at the time enraged Commodores head coach James Franklin.

Both Smith and fellow defensive lineman Marlon Walls said they felt "disbelief" after last season's loss. Walls called it one of the "low points" of his career.

Smith, a Tennessee native, said this series "most certainly" means a great deal to him.

"Knowing that Tennessee, we are the state's team, and for Vanderbilt to continue to say that, it's a motivating thing," Smith said.

Three of the five starters on Tennessee's offensive line are Nashville area natives: Antonio Richardson, James Stone and Alex Bullard. All three are seniors.

"It means a lot to them," senior offensive lineman Ja'Wuan James said. "It means a lot to this university and this team. We want to win Tennessee basically, be state champs."

Get Nasty

The Tennessee coaching staff has emphasized nastiness from the defensive line in practice after the unit only recorded one sack in its past three games.

"I think that's something we've lost in the past couple of weeks," Smith said. "Just having that nasty mentality to get to the quarterback no matter what."

For Jones, being nasty comes by combination of abilities from the defensive line.

"It all goes back to playing with great effort and strain and mentality to get to the quarterback," Jones said. "We've been challenged because also we've played teams with athletic quarterbacks."

Vanderbilt's quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels, will once again challenge the defensive line with his dual-threat ability.

Smith said he believes the defensive line will be the deciding factor against the Commodores by pressuring Carta-Samuels.

"It's very imperative in the game," Smith said. "It's a big factor. I think this is one that is going to be fought and won in the trenches."

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall ran for 214 yards on 14 carries against the Vols two weeks ago. Walls hopes to prove the defensive line is able to handle a mobile quarterback this time.

"We've just got to show that we can get them down," Walls said. "We're motivated and excited to go out here and play some ball."