After a 38-30 loss against Georgia State, It may be time for Tennessee to hit the panic button. This was the first time Tennessee lost a home opener since 1983.
Tennessee’s defense is pretty suspect week 1— Tom Bianchi (@TomBianchi8) August 31, 2019
According to the Action Network,
Tennessee opened at -3500 and moved to -2750 going into this game. Although the line moved, Tennessee was clear favorites and they did not play like it.
Tennessee ended the first quarter up 14-7 and then struggled the rest of the game. In my opinion, Tennesse was able to move the ball alright – still not good enough against a team like Georgia State – but it was their defense that was the real problem.
Georgia State runs a triple option out of a spread offense and Tennessee didn’t really have an answer for it.
Some of this may have been due to the absence of stand out cornerback Bryce Thompson. Thompson was suspended indefinitely prior to the week 1 match up after he was arrested for an alleged arguement with a woman in a compus dormitory.
Thompson was a freshman All-American in 2018 and started 10 of 12 games for the Volunteers. In his first season he racked up three interceptions seven pass breakups, 34 tackles, four tackles for a forced fumble.
The loss of Thompson isn’t the only problem with Tennessee’s defense though. Tennessee just couldn’t answer Georgia State.
Tennessee gave up 352 total yards (139 passing and 213 rushing). Georgia State was 4/5 in the red zone and 10/17 on the 3rd down conversion.
Keep in mind this is against a team in the Sun Belt that went 2-10 last year. They struggled against everything Georgia State threw at them, plain and simple.
As a previous defensive coordinator about to jump into an SEC schedule,
this is not a good look for Pruitt.
I know its only week 1 but I’m not as optimistic about Tennessee as I was during preseason. It’s still early – I hope Pruitt is able to sort things out for the Vols.