When: 6 p.m., Saturday
Where: Knoxville, Tenn.
TV/Radio: ESPN/Vol Network
The series: First meeting
The line: Tennessee by 3 1/2
1. An omen: It might have been a sign of things to come when a boat in the Vol Navy caught fire and sank early Saturday morning before kickoff. None of the people, or a dog, who were on board the 42-foot craft were hurt. The sinking reduced docking space by half for the Vol Navy, and resulted in people being asked not to come to the game by boat.
2. Offensive line woes: The Vols started experimenting with their offensive line on the third series of the game, and never seemed to get into sync. Coach Jeremy Pruitt said during the week that he planned to play a lot of people in the line, but he ended up disappointed in the results. Tennessee had 93 yards rushing on 31 carries and gave up four sacks.
3. Defensive problems, too: The defense came in for its share of criticism in the loss to a 26-point underdog. Georgia State gained 213 yards on 53 rushes. Five Tennessee players made their first start on defense and four of the top defensive players were out, one with a suspension and three with injuries.
4. Good and bad: Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had some good moments in the opener, throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. It was his second career game throwing for over 300 yards. On the other hand, he was sacked four times, and had an interception reversed by a pass interference penalty to give the Vols a field goal try late in the first half.
By the numbers
14.1: After a 30-yard return, Marquez Callaway has a 14.1-yard career punt return average, second in the FBS.
7: Henry To’o To’o had seven tackles to lead the Vols, the first true freshman to lead the Tennessee in tackling in a season opener since 1996.
13: Number of Vols who made their Tennessee debuts against Georgia State, including three true freshmen starters.
2. Tennessee set a new school record in punt return yardage allowed last week giving up just 18 total yards on nine returned punts for a 2.0-yard average.
Player of the week
Ty Chandler, running back
The Vols were No. 100 in the FBS after Week 1 in rushing offense, and Chandler, with the help of the offensive line, needs to get the running game going. He averaged 8.0 yards per carry but only ran the ball six times. He needs more touches than that to build up a head of steam. He is also a threat coming out of the backfield to catch the ball, and could take some of the pressure off of Guarantano.
Tennessee 21, BYU 17
Pruitt will have a lot to answer for if the Vols don’t handle the Cougars in Neyland Stadium. He will have the team as ready as possible for this game, and if the Vols don’t win this one they could be in for a long, difficult season.
- Dennis Tymkiw