Georgia State Panthers at Tennessee Volunteers
TV: ESPNU; Line: Tennessee -26; Over/Under: 57.5
Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m.; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
We’re finally to Tennessee football’s opener. They get to host the Georgia State Panthers, a team that went 2-10 last year, at 3:30 in the afternoon to kick off Jeremy Pruitt’s second season on Rocky Top. And everybody is ready for it.
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Georgia State is part of what many deem to be a very easy non-conference schedule for the Vols this year. And they’re right. But after going 5-7 last year and losing six games by 25 points or more, UT fans will take whatever they can get.
The Vols are a top five team in returning production, had a top 12 recruiting class and also brought back Jim Chaney. They’ll be looking to show all of their development in those areas with Jarrett Guarantano in this season opener.
On the other side, GSU enters Shawn Elliott’s third season, and despite their record last year, they have more experience, and Elliott’s 7-5 record his first year with a team that was 3-9 the year before shows he can coach. He also gave the Vols trouble as the South Carolina Gamecocks’ interim head coach in 2015.
Georgia State will take a step forward this year. But it won’t happen in this game. Tennessee football would have been too good even last year for this team, and they’ll certainly be too good this year. So the Vols win in blowout fashion. Take them to cover the spread and to score so much that they hit the over.