Be sure to check back to see what the IT staff has to say about the Tennessee game each Saturday this fall.
Randy Moore's thoughts
I hate mismatches, and today's UT-Georgia State game showed why. If the Vols play well they win a boring blowout. If they play poorly, they win a boring snoozer. This game saw the Vols make a slew of big plays to win comfortably.
The Big Orange got a magnificent effort from Tyler Bray (18 of 20 passing for 310 yards, 4 TDs). Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson were wide open all day. Patterson and Devrin Young had big plays in the return game. Still, the Vols didn't put together many sustained drives, they continued to struggle on short-yardage plays, they gave up some big chunks of yardage in the first half, plus they misfired on a field goal and a PAT.
I'm cutting Tennessee a lot of slack, though, since it's nearly impossible to get up for Georgia State when you've got Florida next on the schedule.
Special Teams: B
Chris Price's thoughts
Tennessee did exactly what they needed to do with this trap game. They went out, got a win and came out of Week 2 healthy. They may have gotten off to a slow start defensively, but who can blame them. The Vols were coming of a big win over North Carolina State and desperately wanting a win over the Florida Gators next week.
Tyler Bray was about as good as you can ask for going 18 of 20 for 310 yards and four touchdowns. Big shout out to Justin Hunter. The Vol wide out finished the day with seven catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns in front of his grandparents, mother and baby son, which sweetened the performance.
Rajion Neal and the running game looked much improved, but still struggled with short-yardage situations. However, credit to Neal who gave extra effort to stretch into the end zone for his second touchdown of the evening.
The defense came out a little sluggish, but ended up getting on track in the second quarter. The absence of Curt Maggitt (turf toe) and Herman Lathers (shoulder) didn't help. Both remain questionable for next week's game with UF.
The biggest negative of the contest is the missed extra point and field goal by Michael Palardy. I'm not trying to pile on the kid, but this kind of thing has to get figured out. In this conference, missing field goals and extra points CAN NOT happen in SEC play. Those will make a difference in at least one game.
Special Teams: C
Josh Woodward's thoughts
Tennessee played one of the most conservative offensive games I've seen in a while and was still able to score 51 points in the outing. Tyler Bray was basically throwing against air going 18-20 in the game with not a speck of dirt on his uniform. The biggest concern on offense is short yardage as Derek Dooley stated in his post game. They may just need to spread it out and throw it in those situations.
The Vol's got a lot of young players in the including Justin King running some wildcat packages. Justin Worley looked good and is a quality back if Tyler was to suffer an injury. Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson are the two best receivers in the SEC and will get a big test next week as Florida rolls into town. I still think running back is the biggest issue for the Vols, I would really like to see them settle in with one and go from there, each back brings something different, but they don't get into much of a rhythm. The big test is next week when SEC play starts.
Not much to say about the defense, they got some young players some playing time and got to hold out Herman and Curt. Geraldo Orta had a nice interception and always was around the ball. Georgia State was able to drive the ball some, but wasn't much of a threat to do much on offense. The biggest thing was nobody got hurt and another game under the belt for the new defense. This was basically a rehearsal for next weekends showdown.
Tennessee is going to have to change the name of "special teams" because it isn't so special on the kicking side. Michael Palardy struggled with a PAT and missed a 39 yarder. The return unit on the other side is special with Young and Patterson, one of the two will return a kick this season for a touchdown. Matt Darr only had one punt for 35 yards and Palardy was used to try a corner kick that wasn't kicked that well. Tennessee needs to improve the kicking game before it costs them a game.
Tennessee now enters SEC play with the Gators coming to town, I like their chances against Florida, but they need to get Lathers and Maggitt back on the field. It will be important for the passing offense to be on point against an aggressive Florida defense.
Special Teams: B (F for kicking game)
Danny Parker's thoughts
A game that had all the makings of being a mere formality and a springboard into the Southeastern Conference opener, turned out to be just that.
One fumble recovery and one interception meant Tennessee came well short of its goals in the takeaway department but holding the Panthers to 263 yards was a more-than-solid performance.
The Volunteer offense wasn't exactly balanced, but it didn't need to be. The Orange & White ruled the skies with Justin Hunter racking up 146 yards and three touchdowns with his baby son Braylon watching him from the front row.
The standing ovation that Derrick Brodus got from the student section for a made extra point and field goal shows helped illustrate the troubles Michael Palardy is having. A change may be on the horizon. Kickoff return showed glimpses of excitement with Cordarrelle Patterson piling up 106 return yards.
Numerous redshirt possibilities came off the board and several Vols that were redshirted in 2011 saw their first action ever. It was a memorable afternoon for all, I'm sure.
Special teams: C-