This Saturday, September 8, the Volunteers will welcome Georgia State into Neyland Stadium. The following preview should give you an idea of what to expect from the Panthers.
Georgia State is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, a division one FCS school. The school is located in Atlanta, Georgia and plays their home games at the Georgia Dome. They are coached by former Alabama and Kentucky Head Coach, Bill Curry.
Georgia State has played one game so far this year, a 33-6 loss to South Carolina State. In that game, they introduced a new look, no huddle offense—and it didn't work well on the first go around.
Freshman quarterback Ben McLane started the game for the Panthers. Unfortunately, the offensive line had a very difficult time protecting him. McLane was seven-of-15 passing for 54 yards and was sacked five times in the first half.
Junior quarterback Kelton Hill replaced McLane in the third quarter. Though he was only sacked once, his overall numbers were not much better—seven-of-13 attempts, 76 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
On the other hand, Panther's senior running back Donald Russell, had a good night running the ball. He ran for 120 yards on only 12 carries.
Defensively, Georgia State runs a version of the 4-2-5, the same scheme favored by South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
The primary strength of the defensive alignment is in defending the read option offensive attack. This offense is similar to that used by Urban Meyer, as well as a host of other schools nowadays.
South Carolina State had little trouble beating this defense on the way to 488 total yards. Still, not all of that should be considered a defensive lapse.
The inability of the Panther's offense to move the ball caused their defense to stay on the field for 78 plays. That's a lot of work for any defense.
The Volunteers are coming off their 35-21 win over N.C. State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta on Friday night.
Quarterback Tyler Bray looked to be in mid season form against the Wolfpack. The Tennessee offense completed 27 of 41 pass attempts for 333 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. In addition, the Vols rushed for 191 yards.
Defensively, Tennessee held N.C. State—considered a passing team—to 288 yards through the air and intercepted senior quarterback Mike Glennon four times. Considered an All-American quarterback candidate this season, Glennon only threw 12 interceptions in 2011.
N.C. State rushed for 119 yards, totaling 407 yards of offense in the game.
Overall, Georgia State should not present Tennessee with a serious threat this Saturday. The game should be a great opportunity for the Volunteers to continue working on their running game.
Another positive will be getting snaps against the same type of defense used by South Carolina.
The Vols should have it all over Georgia State in terms of athleticism, and would love to build enough of a lead to give some reps to younger guys. Based on the first game for both teams, don't expect high drama at Neyland on Saturday.