Big game, plays: Vols beat N.C. State, 35-21

Vols break streak in Georgia Dome

University of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley celebrates with players after receiving the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game trophy after defeating N.C. State in an NCAA college football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Tennessee won their season opener 35-21. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley celebrates with players after receiving the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game trophy after defeating N.C. State in an NCAA college football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Tennessee won their season opener 35-21. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Recap: Tennessee plays N.C. State

MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 84 catches a pass for the Vols' first touchdown against North Carolina State during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 84 catches a pass for the Vols' first touchdown against North Carolina State during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — It might turn out be the most important 62 seconds of the season.

That’s all it took Friday night for Tennessee to seize control of the 2012 season-opener and convert it to a 35-21 win over North Carolina State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

A stunning series of big plays at the end of the first quarter led to 16 quick Tennessee points. The Vols made it stand up to snap a six-game losing streak at the Georgia Dome that dates back to the 1998 SEC Championship Game.

And a pivotal season is off on the right foot with a marquee win.

“It’s one game,’’ UT coach Derek Dooley said. “All that matters is we’re one-and-oh.

“We’re not going to pat ourselves on the back because we won one game. We’ve got to go clean up a ton of mistakes and then go on to the next game.’’

Cordarrelle Patterson helped clean up some of the mistakes. The junior-college signee was electrifying in his UT debut, scoring on a 41-yard pass and a 67-yard run.

Tyler Bray heaved a pair of touchdown bombs en route to a 333-yard passing performance. The first was to new arrival Patterson, then came a 72-yarder to Zach Rogers.

Rajion Neal scored on an 8-yard run. Michael Palardy kicked two field goals.

The defense gave ground — 407 yards of it — but stopped five N.C. State drives with big plays.

Prentiss Waggner, Byron Moore, Eric Gordon and Marsalis Teague intercepted Mike Glennon passes and Curt Maggitt forced a Glennon fumble that turned into a safety.

The game turned at the end of the first quarter. The Wolfpack led 7-6 after an early exchange of touchdowns.

The Vols struck first on Bray’s 41-yard bomb to Patterson. Hardly anyone noticed during the celebration that Palardy missed the extra point.

The Wolfpack drove the ball 86 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-6 lead on Tony Creecy’s 2-yard run.

State was driving again and called timeout with 1:31 left in the quarter to decide how to approach a fourth-and-3 situation at the Tennessee 35.

Glennon’s pass ended up in the hands of Waggner, who raced all the way to the N.C. State 25.

A roar from the pro-Tennessee crowd of 55,529 turned into a groan when a holding penalty during the return brought the ball back to the Vols’ 28. In essence, a 47-yard penalty.

Bray got it back and then some. On first down, he play-faked and found Rogers running deep for a 72-yard score and a 13-7 lead.

State’s first snap after the kickoff was another disaster.

Maggitt knocked the ball loose from a retreating Glennon, and it rolled into the end zone for a safety.

Up 15-7, Tennessee received the kickoff after the safety at its 33 with 45 seconds left in the half.

On the first snap Patterson lined up in the backfield, took a handoff around end, cut back across the field and sprinted down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.

Just like that — 16 points in a span of 38 seconds to go up 22-7.

Only 1:02 had run off the clock since N.C. State called the play that led to Waggner’s interception that started the dominoes tumbling.

“They always say turnover ratio and big plays are the difference between winning and losing,’’ Dooley said.

He got an amen from N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien.

“What it boiled down to,’’ O’Brien said, “was too many big plays we gave up on defense.

“And four interceptions, you can’t win when you do that.’’

There was no Tennessee knockout punch, however. Not just yet.

The Wolfpack got the only score of the second quarter, driving 67 yards for James Washington’s 2-yard touchdown to make it 22-14.

The Vols’ defense almost dodged a bullet. Almost.

On the play before the score, Glennon fumbled but center Camden Wentz fell on the ball at the 2.

Tennessee had 3:42 left in the half to answer and nearly did.

Bray directed a crisp drive, mixing passes and runs, from the Vols’ 25 for a first-and-goal at the Wolfpack 5.

Neal charged to the 1 with time running down. On third-and-goal, Bray tried to sneak, stretching the ball to the goal line but N.C. State’s Brandan Bishop knocked the ball loose and the Wolfpack recovered.

The replay official reviewed the call and it stood, much to the frustration of the Tennessee sideline and crowd, who believed Bray had gotten the ball across the plane of the goal line.

The third quarter saw the Vols stage their best drive of the night, 87 yards in 14 plays. Neal finished it with an 8-yard TD run for a 29-14 lead.

Moore’s interception gave UT a chance to ice the game, but the Vols settled for just chilling it.

Marlin Lane’s 42-yard run to the Wolfpack 3 got the Vols to the brink, but they bogged down and came away with a 20-yard Palardy field goal.

If not quite the result UT wanted, it still made it 32-14, a three-score deficit for N.C. State.

The Wolfpack had only one score left in them — James Washington’s 2-yard run with 13:46 to play.

Down 32-21, N.C. State got the ball back, but not for long. Gordon took it away with the third interception of the night.

As the crowd headed out to celebrate, Palardy added a 34-yard field goal with 1:44 left, after which Teague made an end-zone interception with seconds to play.

Bray finished 27 of 41 passing for 333 yards. N.C. State All-American cornerback David Amerson did not add to career interception total. Nor did any other Wolfpack defender.

The Vols rushed 37 times for 191 yards with Lane’s 75 taking honors. All told, Tennessee amassed 524 yards of offense.

Having won in Atlanta, the Vols are back home on Sept. 8 to play a team from Atlanta – Georgia State.

“It’s always important to get the first one out of the way,’’ said Moore, “so now we can focus on getting another one next week.’’

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Comments » 312

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

1st

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

lol on the 1st
Great game!!! Great big time plays but need 2 punch it in more while inside the red zone, Neal try to juke 2 much and not turn upfield. I think Vols should start Lane at RB.Patterson is a BEAST,I expect some big things from him this year

I was very impressed with the D but its tough to see Lathers on the bench, I hope hes healthy 2 weeks from now but great job all around.Got 2 good ball hocs"4 ints" was not expecting that.

GBO Its great to be a Tennessee Vol

orangevolman writes:

What is lathers' injury? I saw he had his arm in a sling, but the lousy TV game announcers never explained.

Volsfan1985 writes:

Good Game

Tru138 writes:

Boy. ProfessionalDumba** blew this like he does Mr. Tennessee. I think that 7-1/4" hat is wrapped too tight around his 15-3/8" melon.

TheVolSnake writes:

What I find is our D did a lot better than expected. 2 sacks, a safety and 4 interceptions and 7 QB hurries.

Over 300 receiving yards against the 4th best D backfield in the nation, running yards 198, (Vol quest says 216 rushing yards) 528 total yards. We also went at the best arguably the best CB in the nation and beat him twice for big pass plays.

Sorry I was off by 2 yards on us rushing for 200 we only had 198.

Vols win by 14

7 more wins and Walt and Crapking leave forever and the said wouldn’t come back under another name.

I hope Professional Handicapper bet the farm on the game. Since he is in Vegas so tomorrow So like the commercial said he has to sell his hair to a wig shop.

bigfan writes:

I'm sure the nay-sayers will find something negative to say. Great win by UT, beat a good team.
Four intereceptions by a good qb.

bitterroot_vol_for_life writes:

trolls unite! and then go F.....well, you know what to do.

AZ_Vol writes:

Proud of this team.

GloryDays writes:

Congradulations Vols. Defense played well, offense looked good. Vols and Dooley really needed this win.

tnbigg writes:

WAY TO GO VOLS!!!

bvol1inSC writes:

Leaps and bounds ahead of last year. Believe Dooley is actually coming up the learning curve. He's still not quite "polished"...several times tonight, he was "butting in" to the defensive "huddle" on the sidelines and I saw Sal roll his eyes...so I still see the tendency to micro-manage and over-react. But his heart is in it! One game at a time - players, for the most part, played great. Defensive line will improve every game. Will be great to have Lathers...but man, are we deep at LB. Wouldn't say Neal shouldn't start...BUT...he and Lane do make a solid 1-2 punch with Young as a nice "change-up." It is obvious that we need to work more running between the tackles...but tonight was better than last year when we couldn't run between the tackles vs MTSU....

gc_scvol writes:

My vols are on the way back. Not a perfect game , but should be enough to keep wally and his girlfriend Jeffy quiet for a day or two. GBO ,,,VFL

ChattMac writes:

Well, instead of saying if we'd scored here or there we would have won the game, we can say we won and could have won by a 2 or 3 more TD's. For at least a week we can gripe about what we could have done better, all the while feeling good about winning a game against a quality opponent.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

bigfan,
there were some plays to be concerned about, but they overcame, and that was the biggest difference between this year and last year. Bray was FEELIN' IT, and how about Patterson! I think we've become WR-U again!

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to orangevolman:

What is lathers' injury? I saw he had his arm in a sling, but the lousy TV game announcers never explained.

Im not sure im like you just seen him out and in a sling. Lathers is a leader for the D this year though so I hope its not anything serious.

wildmed writes:

Sad to see Lathers go down, that kid can't catch a break. Patterson belongs on the big stage.

CroKev writes:

Fire Dooley!!! ;-)

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

Marlin Lane ran hard between the tackles. Should start next game. Neal just may have juked himself sideways to the bench. Hope Lathers not serious and back for FLA.
Go Vols!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Yeah, how 'bout that 198 yards rushing! Feeling really good about this year.

eduardo writes:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

Snapshot writes:

Glad we broke that Ga.Dome streak.

Wonder if professionalhandicapped lost that 5000 he said he won on vandy last night? After all he said to take N.C. St. and the points. Wonder what he charges for that kind of advice? lol

Colliervol writes:

Not going to go hog wild here but that was a BIG win for Dooley and the program. Still things to work on like finishing long drives when you have a chance. Four false start penalties. And the running backs still run east-west too much. But the defense looked good against an excellent QB and they absolutely lit up Amerson and one of the best secondaries in the nation. And lastly, they aint going to miss Duhrick. Patterson can play. A little early but I think a few eyebrows just got raised in the SEC.

OrangePsyched writes:

Professionallyhandicapped,phooey-e-king,waltnoballs,jethro,volzgirlfan,little jeffiepoo and the rest come out and play. Tell us how NC State isn't that good. You girls have a long year in front of you. CDD and Vols rule baby!

allvol32 writes:

TN dominated every aspect of this game - the margin very easily could have been two to three touchdowns more than what it was - great to see TN win again like it should!!!

misplacedVOLinGA writes:

F all the haters dC, Charlie, and all the rest! CP is the real mf deal! Trolls get the f off this site! Your cover is blown! Bray was a little excited at times I have to admit! D looked ok but our best D tttttt... Is our O. 1 Amerson = preseason all American, now 1= Tyler Bray's BIA!!!!!! Go Vols!!!

pingkr62 writes:

This win was huge. Tennessee ran the ball well, threw the ball very well, played good defense and showed everyone what this team is capable of when they are healthy. Too me, this win went a long way in giving the team some badly needed confidence. Let's keep it going. G.B.O.!!!

jamgod writes:

I know this is probably picking, but I am still a little aggravated with Chaney's play calling. Anyway, NC State dodged a big but kikin'. If not for some mental junk, TN. would have won by 28 or more.... Man, if they clean some of that stuff up...I don't know...maybe we are lookin at a possible Sec Championship matchup....getting a little ahead of myself? Perhaps, but I saw a team that needs to clean some little things up tonite and made a lot of mistakes or the doors would have been blown off the NCS taxi.... I'm thinkin' 10 wins...surely 9 at least???

VolCard writes:

I'm amazed that - an hour or so after the game is over - there are only 13 comments here. Based on last year, if this were a loss there'd be 300 hear by now. Need to be as vocal in encouragement and excitement in good times as folks are about griping and moaning in tough times.

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to eduardo:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

LOL the run game wasnt on CDD 2nite. You can only show the kids how to do something so many times then it falls on there shoulders to hit the holes instead of running sideways.

RaineyVol writes:

in response to eduardo:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

Jump off a cliff! we have a lot to work on, but we looked good in a lot of areas. GO VOLS

bigjvol22 writes:

The 1st corderelle Patterson TD was right in front of me ....... I was at the dome and everything looked in top shape live so i cant wait 2 get home and watch it on the dvr

GBO........VFL........GREAT GAME NOW LET'S TAKE IT 2 THE REST OF THE SEC NOW BABY!!!!!!!!

sidwalkvol writes:

in response to bvol1inSC:

Leaps and bounds ahead of last year. Believe Dooley is actually coming up the learning curve. He's still not quite "polished"...several times tonight, he was "butting in" to the defensive "huddle" on the sidelines and I saw Sal roll his eyes...so I still see the tendency to micro-manage and over-react. But his heart is in it! One game at a time - players, for the most part, played great. Defensive line will improve every game. Will be great to have Lathers...but man, are we deep at LB. Wouldn't say Neal shouldn't start...BUT...he and Lane do make a solid 1-2 punch with Young as a nice "change-up." It is obvious that we need to work more running between the tackles...but tonight was better than last year when we couldn't run between the tackles vs MTSU....

Yeah, it's tough when the HEAD COACH is so involved. Course, if he weren't in there you would be griping about him being aloof or something. Sal rolling his eyes? Puh-lees. 4 interceptions and a fumble/safety... The d was hungry and aggressive. As was the hc. Couldn't keep his shirttail in!!!

bigdisbig writes:

The Vols secondary looked like the keystone cops the first 8 minutes but Sal regrouped and they played a pretty good game. With Dooley going for it on 4th down twice instead of kicking a field goal I figured NC State would beat UT.....I get frustrated with Dooley's teams. He has good players but they do make some bonehead mistakes....BUT it was the first game of the season and hopefully they will learn from their mistakes. I was pleased there were no bad penalties on the Vols and they seemed prepared offensively. I'm not sure how good NC State is but the true test for the Vols will come against the Gators. I wish Dooley would come up with a goal line package or a 3rd and 1 package with Patterson at QB for he seems to be the strongest runner the Vols have. Bray NEVER needs to QB sneak. He just isn't strong enough to push the pile. If Bray stays healthy and out of trouble he will be a first round pic for sure. I am happy for Dooley for he truly needed this win. I have been a staunch critic of Dooley but I do hope he turns things around this year.

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

Oh ya how about Zach Rogers 2nite??? I was impressed, he looked like hes worked hard in the offseason on his ball catching skills. He is scary fast so I think he can become a great slot player this year if he can just keep catching instead of droping em like last year. GJ Zach

69vol08 writes:

Probably the best 1st game scenario. Some things to be excited about...some great plays. Then there was plenty for the coaches to point out that we need to improve. However, the main thing is we won. It is always said biggest improvement is from game one to game two. So let's celebrate a well deserved win and get better...go VOLS!

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to eduardo:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

Eduardo, you need a bib?

Troll_Here writes:

Congrats UT! You guys looked much improved on both sides of the ball over last year. Excited for our game with you in 2 weeks. Hopefully we take care of business too and we meet undefeated and both ranked like the old days. Should be a good one.

BMSvol writes:

the guys looked good tonight. we could have blown them out but still a solid performance against a good team.

hunter dropped several passes. he had a good overall outing but to me he only looked about 80% of what he was.

our run game looked somewhat better but we need our backs to all step up and run north-south.

we left a lot of points on the field but our defense bailed us out with all the turnovers.

overall, good game plan....but im glad we have ga state next week to work out the kinks and improve execution.

good job guys!

now lets get ready for fla...errr ga state

not_guilty writes:

Da'Rick Who???

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

We don't want to be smug about the victory. State is a pretty good group but the Vols stepped up. ESPN3 was blacked out for half of the country so I had to listen to it. Thought........hey, if this means we'll win, I'll listen and not worry about the t.v.

Anyway, many positives. A few negatives, such as Tiny with 2 false starts. Tyler fumbling. Palardy not kicking into or through the endzone thus giving NCS field position.

Tim Priest mentioned Neal stopping in the hole, then running east and west to be stuffed. He has to fix that, or else Lane will be the starter.

How about the critics of Zach Rogers? Enough said. The heralded State D B gave up big plays..........Bray with no interceptions, and glennon gives up 4 picks. Games don't always turn out the way the media forecasts them.

One thing further........the air is fresher after this game, isn't it? Who doesn't think this team is capable of more of these games?
We can congratulate the team and the real fans who have supported them.

TopTenn writes:

I'm excited about Vols football again. Great game team and coaches

oscar285 writes:

Much needed win. Great to see those big plays in the first half. After Z Rogers TD all Amerson could do was throw his hands up! Great to be on here and not have to see the likes of ZZ, Walt, DC, Prohandicapped, et al. I'm sure they'll be back after they have time to formulate what they think are clever disses for all things Orange. No matter...as always, it's great to be a Tennessee Vol!

Colliervol writes:

in response to eduardo:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

Child go away. That's the best they've looked in about 5 years and you want to nitpick. Please join Walt, Jeffy, merlot and the other goofs and find another team to pull for. It could fall apart later if we get injuries but, for now, that was a good start against a good experienced team. End of discussion.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to eduardo:

Dooley=Disaster what a cluster#@!%..still cant run the ball when we want to. 20 yd fg are you serious??

What game were you watching? Maybe you're on a different planet. G.B.O.!!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to not_guilty:

Da'Rick Who???

Nice!

Scoon writes:

VOL fans galore, you guys all be very safe & stay alert while driving back out of 'CAT'lanta now, ya hear??

Congrats! Well done. You made the SEC proud.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Child go away. That's the best they've looked in about 5 years and you want to nitpick. Please join Walt, Jeffy, merlot and the other goofs and find another team to pull for. It could fall apart later if we get injuries but, for now, that was a good start against a good experienced team. End of discussion.

Maybe if they tested all these idiots for drugs we could have them indefinitely suspended from this site.

BluezVol writes:

The win could have easily been by 28-35 points instead of 14. Those poundings will come. This team will only get better. Bray is a monster. 72-yard catch by Z Rogers! CP is the next Carl Pickens!

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

The Vols secondary looked like the keystone cops the first 8 minutes but Sal regrouped and they played a pretty good game. With Dooley going for it on 4th down twice instead of kicking a field goal I figured NC State would beat UT.....I get frustrated with Dooley's teams. He has good players but they do make some bonehead mistakes....BUT it was the first game of the season and hopefully they will learn from their mistakes. I was pleased there were no bad penalties on the Vols and they seemed prepared offensively. I'm not sure how good NC State is but the true test for the Vols will come against the Gators. I wish Dooley would come up with a goal line package or a 3rd and 1 package with Patterson at QB for he seems to be the strongest runner the Vols have. Bray NEVER needs to QB sneak. He just isn't strong enough to push the pile. If Bray stays healthy and out of trouble he will be a first round pic for sure. I am happy for Dooley for he truly needed this win. I have been a staunch critic of Dooley but I do hope he turns things around this year.

Bray shouldnt sneek? Idk y not he had that touchdown even sportscenter said it was a bad call.CDD probly does have that type of GL package but wont show it til Fla. I have to admit myself with the way the FG's was last year I wouldve went for it on 4th the 1st time but not the 2nd.
I agree with you though no stupid penalties,off and Def seemed well prepared. I dont think UT is back to where it belongs but I do think we're well on our way and the ball finnally seems to be rolling.

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