Derek Dooley, Tennessee players and the Tennessee fanbase all breathed a collective sigh of relief Friday night when the Vols knocked off North Carolina State 35-21 in the Georgia Dome.
By no means did the men in orange and white play a perfect game, but they looked much improved from last year and gave fans plenty to be excited about as the season continues.
Tyler Bray showed off his ability with over 300 yards and two scores. Cordarrelle Patterson made people forget about the loss of Da’Rick Rogers before the first quarter was over. The defense was much more aggressive and, while it gave up its share of big plays, the Vols picked off four passes.
Now they return to Knoxville for the home opener against Georgia State. The Panthers’ are led by head coach Bill Curry, who will become the first person to coach against Tennessee as the head coach of four different teams (Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia State).