Georgia State Player Says FCS' Furman Will Be 'Tougher Battle' Than Tennessee

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 4, 2019

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - AUGUST 31: Tyler Gore #12 of the Georgia State Panthers celebrates defeating the Tennessee Volunteers during the season opener at Neyland Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
Silas Walker/Getty Images

Fresh off a stunning 38-30 win over Tennessee, Georgia State safety Remy Lazarus told Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Division I-FCS Furman will give the Panthers a stiffer test than the Vols.

"I think [Furman] will give us a tougher battle than we faced Saturday, if you want to be honest," Lazarus said. 

Per B/R Betting, Georgia State was a 12-1 underdog entering its road matchup against Tennessee, deservedly so considering the Panthers were coming off a 2-10 season and a last-place Sun Belt finish.

Tennessee has taken a step back since winning the BCS national championship a couple of decades ago, with the team finishing last in the SEC East in 2018. Still, the 5-7 Vols beat No. 21 Auburn on the road and No. 11 Kentucky at home and were the clear favorites entering their season opener.

However, the Panthers emerged victorious thanks in part to 17 unanswered points over a 6:19 fourth-quarter stretch. Three Vols turnovers and 233 Panthers rushing yards proved to be the catalysts.

The result was stunning given the pregame odds, but saying Furman will be a tougher test than Tennessee might be a stretch.

The Sagarin Ratings, which lumps FCS and FBS schools into one large Division I ranking, has Tennessee at No. 77 and Furman at No. 124. The Panthers are No. 112.

Still, Lazarus' comments have some merit: Furman is No. 11 in the latest FCS poll, and it's not uncommon to see teams from that division spring upsets over FBS foes. In fact, that happened seven times last year.

Georgia State will host the Paladins on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.