Sept. 3, 2012
By Brian Rice
Each week, UTSports.com takes a look at the numbers from the weekend past and the weekend ahead in Four Downs. This week, it's a quick change, a better third and some great performances.
FIRST DOWN: 0:49 - Seconds it took to change the gameFour consecutive plays from scrimmage covering 49 seconds on the clock at the end of the first quarter changed everything for Tennessee. Leading 7-6, NC State had momentum on its side when the Wolfpack lined up to go for it on fourth-and-3 from the UT 35. A possession earlier, quarterback Mike Glennon had hit on an 11-yard pass to pick up a first down on a fourth-and-2. Glennon didn't have the same success this time around as Prentiss Waggner stepped in front of the pass and took it the other way ... 1:18 left in the quarter. Although the return yardage was impacted by a penalty, UT took over possession. A play later, Tyler Bray hit a streaking Zach Rogers for a 72-yard touchdown ... 1:07 left in the quarter. Following a kickoff return, Glennon rolled out on first down and lost control of the ball near the end zone as he was being pulled down by Curt Maggitt. Maggitt was credited with the Vols' only sack of the day, while NC State's Logan Winkles picked up the ball in the back of the end zone and rolled out-of-bounds for a Tennessee safety ... 0:51 left in the quarter. Devrin Young returned the ensuing punt 10 yards, setting up Cordarrelle Patterson's 67-yard reverse for the Vols' third-straight scoring play from scrimmage ... 0:29 left in the quarter. In 0:49 of game time, a one-point deficit turned into a 15-point lead, one Tennessee would not relinquish.
SECOND DOWN: 10 - Third Quarter PointsTennessee outscored NC State 10-0 in the third quarter on Friday night. The 10 points broke a string of eight games in which Tennessee had been held without a score in the third period. Prior to Friday night, the last Vol third-quarter score came against Buffalo in the fourth game of the 2011 season on Oct. 1. Over that stretch, UT had been outscored 70-0 in the third period. Against NC State, the story was reversed. After facing adversity right before the half with Bray's fumble inside the 1-yard line, the Wolfpack took possession to start the second half. NCSU picked up three first downs to open the half, but punted when the drive stalled near midfield. UT responded with a methodical 14-play, 87-yard drive that ate away 6:26 off the clock and was capped by Rajion Neal's 8-yard touchdown run. The ensuing Wolfpack drive lasted just three plays before Byron Moore's interception flipped possession back to Tennessee. Marlin Lane busted through the line on the first play for 42 yards to set up UT with first-and-goal. Michael Palardy knocked home a 20-yard field goal moments later.
THIRD DOWN: Quick Hits4 - Interceptions by Vol defensive backs in the game. Tennessee only had nine interceptions in all of 2011 and did not pick off its fourth pass until the ninth game of last season. UT last had four interceptions in a game against Ole Miss in 2010. In that 2010 win over the Rebels, Waggner and Eric Gordon each picked off a pass, as they did Friday night against NC State. 2 - True Freshmen, Deion Bonner and Cody Blanc, to play against NC State. The significance? In the 2011 opener against Montana, UT sent out 12 true freshmen, including three that started the game. Over the last two seasons, the Vols have had 32 true freshmen see action. 8 - Byron Moore tackles. The junior's total led the Vols on Friday night and more than doubled the previous total of six for his Tennessee career. Moore also picked up the first interception of his career, setting up a Vol field goal in the third quarter. 321 - Yards picked up by the Vols on first down, coming on 33 first down plays.
FOURTH DOWN: A Look Ahead17 - Games against Tennessee that Georgia State head coach Bill Curry has coached in a career that spans four schools. Curry previously led teams from Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky onto the field at Neyland Stadium. Curry is 5-11-1 against the Vols, including a current losing streak of seven games while at UK. 17 - Consecutive home openers won by Tennessee, dating back to a 1994 loss to Florida. 2-0 - The Vols will be looking for their second-straight 2-0 start, which would be the first time UT has kicked off back-to-back years with a 2-0 record since Tennessee was 2-0 every year over a four-season stretch from 2001-2004.