7. Georgia State’s passing attack
Although Tennessee football expects to use its passing game to put this one out of reach early, the Georgia State Panthers have a passing attack of their own. Dan Ellington is not a bad quarterback, having thrown for over 2,100 yards last year and averaging nearly seven and a half yards a completion. Ideally, he should be much better this year.
On top of that, Shawn Elliott is a Steve Spurrier protege. And he did serve as offensive coordinator for Spurrier. So he obviously has an affinity for the passing attack, and he plans to rely on it this year to turn things around.
Add in the fact that the Vols are now without their best secondary player in cornerback Bryce Thompson and just found out that would be the case this week, and GSU may have something to work with on Saturday to make this game interesting. Sure, UT is still loaded in the secondary, but losing Thompson clearly hurts.
The only real concern for Georgia State is that their top receiver, Penny Hart, is now gone. However, they still have more than enough talent at that position to offset Hart’s departure, and some analysts believe they may end up with the best receiving corps. in the Sun Belt.
This is a great test for them ahead of conference play, and it’s also a great opportunity for the Vols to somewhat tune up their secondary against decent enough competition as they figure out how to replace Thompson. They have to be on their game to win this one.