Sep 15, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) tackles Florida Gators tight end Omarius Hines (20) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Florida won by a score of 37 to 20. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Volunteers say they still have plenty of incentive even though their preseason hopes of contending for a Southeastern Conference title are long gone.
The Vols (3-5) can assure themselves of their first winning season since 2009 by beating each of their final four regular-season opponents. After losing four straight games in October, the Vols are counting on Saturday's meeting with Troy (4-4) to start a season-ending surge that will allow them to earn the bowl bid that eluded them a year ago.
Troy also must readjust its preseason goals following a 34-27 loss at Florida Atlantic last week that virtually ended its Sun Belt title hopes. The Trojans still believe they could reach a bowl game with a strong November.