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Tennessee TE Jacob Warren on Vanderbilt: “Get ready to handle their best shot”

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With Tennessee’s ultimate goals fallen by the wayside, there is still plenty for the Vols to play for. Pride should certainly top the list. However, a 10-win season and a better bowl game is at stake.

The result on Saturday when the Vols take on Vanderbilt is even bigger for the Commodores. If Vandy loses to Tennessee, that’s the end of the 2022 season for the Dores.

That’s nothing new for Vandy, who have made losing their speciality in the modern era of college football. However, this Vanderbilt team has some spunk, as evident by wins over Kentucky and Florida in recent weeks. Moreover, Vandy hasn’t been the team that the Vols used to kick around in decades past. Tennessee has beaten the Commodores three straight times, but Vandy won three straight before that.

“They always have that target for us,” Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren told Off The Hook Sports. “And so now that’s just heightened with the situation. They feel like we’re probably coming in there limping and we’re bleeding from this last loss and they feel like they might be able to take advantage because they’re rolling and they’ve won two and row and all the stuff. 

The Vol Report with Jacob Warren

“You’ll get their best, you’ll get their best shot, and so we have to go in there and compare and just get ready to handle their best shot, and I think we’re good enough to do that for sure.”

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If so, the Vols will have to be better than last week when they were shellacked by South Carolina 63-38. That game provides another challenge. With a potential national championship shot in sight, the Vols now have to take pride in what they can still accomplish. To do so, Warren has tried to put the season in perspective. For those that recall preseason expectations, no one expected the Vols (9-2) to reach double-digit wins, beat Alabama or be ranked No. 1 in the nation. Tennessee is one win away from accomplishing all of that.

“We talk about perspective all the time and just understanding that, like man, like we would do anything for 10 wins,” Warren said, recalling his mindset before the season. “Well, we have nine wins right now…two years ago, three years ago, every year that I’ve been here, it’s been, you know, man, like only if we can get to that. 

“I would love to go to the Cotton Bowl or the Sugar Bowl, one of those New Year’s Six bowls and then you take one loss to South Carolina and it’s like kind of leaves that bad taste in your mouth. And you know you can’t do all this (win a championship), but yeah, as you look back, you can’t help but be be proud and be happy of what we’ve been able to accomplish and understand the significance of what’s going on here and that’s truly a change in the mindset and and the expectation of this program. So I just have to be a part of it and, you know, play my role as I can.”

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