September 2, 2014

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Music City Bowl Practice: Day 2

Day two for the Vols in Nashville began with practice at Vanderbilt University, back to the team hotel for interviews, and then off to a rib dinner and your Sports Overtime team was there for all the fun!
NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Day one for your Sports Overtime team in the Music City started out, of all places, at Vanderbilt University. The Commodores,as they usually are to the Big Orange come late November, being gracious hosts by allowing the Vols to use their facilities for practice.
 
The Tennessee players were able to get a little lifting in at the Vandy weight training facility, then it was outside, just beyond Commodore Stadium for a bone chilling practice. Temperatures were still quite frigid around lunch time when the Vols took to the practice field. Coach Derek Dooley says the program provides the players with whatever they need from gloves to hand warmers in order to brave the elements. For most of the players it isn't an issue and that includes freshman quarterback Tyler Bray, although Dooley says there is a bit of a difference playing quarterback when it gets colder. Bray says it's something he's ready to deal with. So far Bray has dealt well with whatever adversity has been thrown his way, throwing for over 15 hundred yards and four straight wins.
 
Speaking of Tyler Bray, who by the way, says he hasn't felt like a freshman in a long time and that stands to reason, considering he joined the team for bowl practice last year, he agrees with junior tailback Tauren Poole in saying today the tempo on the UT offense has improved tremendously since day one and especially since the end of the season.
 
We had a chance to interview Dooley and the players at the Opryland Hotel on Monday. The hotel is still beautifully decked out for Christmas. A win over North Carolin would certainly be a belated Christmas gift for the Big Orange.
 
Tonight, the players are dealing with chowing down on some beef, as the guys are being treated to all they can eat ribs at dinner. The delicate mix of work and pleasure continues tomorrow as the Vols return to the practice field during the day.
 
Tomorrow night, the team will be treated to some professional hockey with a trip to a Nashville Predators game.
 
It's the Vols and Tar Heels in the Music City Bowl Thursday night at 6:30 ET on ESPN.

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