KNOXVILLE– From unranked to 15th in the country.

That’s what Tennessee has done over its first two weeks, which includes that thrilling overtime win over Pitt this past weekend when the Vols got it done in a game that, a year ago, probably would have ended in a loss.

It’s the maturation of this UT program in year two under Josh Heupel as the Vols get set to play Akron in a tune-up game before their annual rivalry with the Gators on Rocky Top.

That and the expectation to be the best.  Playing up to a new standard in Knoxville.

“That’s every day, every time we come into the facility and every time we meet. That’s the standard. We want to be the best offense in the country, and it starts every day in practice,” said Vols receiver Jalin Hyatt.  “It starts every time we prepare for anybody we’re playing.”

“The accountability that we have inside of our program, it shows up in how you play. The mental toughness, physical toughness and the ability to strain when things aren’t going your way, being relentless and playing together in all phases of the game,” Heupel said.  “It’s just the growth of individuals and the growth of our units together. All that adds up to us having the ability to fight and win a game in overtime like we played.” 

Vols host Akron Saturday night at 6.