Before the game, I was discussing with some fellow Tennessee fans what our strengths and weaknesses would be.
For some reason, I felt great about the secondary, and that optimism ended up being well-placed.
Against a top-five NFL quarterback prospect, the Volunteer defense erupted with five turnovers. NC State quarterback Mike Glennon had a miserable game. In 2011, Glennon threw four interceptions total against Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson.
The Vols matched that total against Glennon in just one night.
Glennon also fumbled once, the ball punched out by outside Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt.
Prentiss Waggner, finally back at cornerback, got off to a hot start intercepting the first pass of the game. Byron Moore, in just his third start, made a terrific interception, sliding in front of a pass lobbed by Glennon in the teeth of a great pass rush.
Eric Gordon got in on the action,too, intercepting his first pass since the memorable game-winner against Vanderbilt last year. The defensive backs finished their feast on the last pass of the game, a prayer from Glennon that landed in Marsalis Teague's waiting hands.
Brent Brewer also leveled the biggest hit of the game in the second quarter.
Tennessee's secondary is full of athleticism and energy, and it should see a lot of action if the Vols' passing game can continue to put up points early in contests.