NASHVILLE (WATE) – After a day of practice at Montgomery Bell Academy, Team 120 headed to downtown Nashville for the Music City Bowl Welcome Party at the Wild Horse Saloon. The red and orange carpet was rolled out for both teams as kickoff for the big game is just three days away.
Both teams are very excited for this match up and looking to end this season on a high note. Coach Butch Jones and the team thought it was a nice gesture that the Nebraska Cornhuskers are putting “Mountain Tough” decals on their helmets for the game in honor of the victims of the Gatlinburg wildfires.
“Well, I think it speaks volumes again. Again this is a great bowl game and Nebraska is a great program, and so we greatly appreciate that,” said Jones.
“I thought it was phenomenal, actually I just figured that out today so, I thought that was a phenomenal show, great class program. And the people running the stuff over there,” said defensive lineman Corey Vereen. “There’s a lot of things great for the game so its really good and classy by them to show that they care.”
The two teams are very similar, and unfortunately, one of those similarities is injuries. The Vols have felt the hurt all year long and so have the Cornhuskers. Coming into their biggest game, quarterback Tommy Armstrong is unlikely to play in Friday’s Music City Bowl. That means Ryker Fife will be under center for the Huskers.
The Vols are ready for the challenge and preparing for two quarterbacks.
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“Obviously you prepare for the worst, you know. If he is able to play, you know, we are ready for that. If he doesn’t play, we’re ready for that. We’re ready for pretty much anything,” said Vereen.
“That’s a challenge, but also their scheme also presents a challenge as well. Nebraska is a football team that is very, very disciplined in not turning the football over. On offense they limit you to negative yardage football plays. Mike Cabot and I worked together at Ferris State, so I know Mike very, very well and I know the mindset and the attitude that he brings to the offensive line up front. But they are very skilled and they can make plays,” Jones said.
The welcome party also featured a wing-eating competition between the two teams. The Cornhuskers came out on top, but hopefully the Vols will take that and use it as more motivation to win the game on Friday. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and will air on ESPN.