Tennessee Stat Book
Tennessee's junior college recruiting paid off big-time in the 35-21 victory against North Carolina State in the Georgia Dome on Friday night.
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who played the last two seasons at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, had 160 all-purpose yards and scored twice — on a 41-yard pass reception and a 67-yard end-around in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
Safety Byron Moore, whom UT signed out of Los Angeles Harbor Community College two years ago, had a team-high eight tackles and one of the Vols' four interceptions.
Defensive lineman Maurice Couch, another former junior college player, was UT's third-leading tackler with five, including one for a 3-yard loss. He also forced a fumble.
North Carolina State All-American cornerback David Amerson had a nightmarish evening against the Vols.
Amerson, who led the country with 13 interceptions last season, was twice beaten for long touchdown passes. He also did most of the chasing on Patterson's touchdown run.
Two fans were injured when a fan fell from the upper deck of the Georgia Dome and landed on a fan sitting in the mezzanine section, according to a report on ESPN.com. Both of the injured fans were taken to the Atlanta Medical Center.
The condition of the injured fans was not known. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority Police Department did not release their names.
The fan reportedly fell while celebrating a first-half Tennessee touchdown.
Tennessee's veteran offensive line came up huge against the Wolfpack.
It allowed only one sack and helped the Vols accumulate 191 yards rushing. UT averaged 5.0 yards per carry, a stunning figure following last season when it averaged only 2.8 yards per rush.
Tennessee appeared to have found one solution to its tight end shortage. Reserve offensive lineman Alex Bullard donned a No. 88 jersey and played two snaps at tight end on the Vols' second series.
Mychal Rivera and Ben Bartholomew are Tennessee's only two healthy scholarship players at the position.
Tennessee senior cornerback Prentiss Waggner appeared to have a certain interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter when his feet got tangled up and he fell to the turf without being touched by a defender.
The fall may have been embarrassing, but it ultimately didn't matter. A holding flag on the interception return would have negated the touchdown.
Speaking of embarrassing falls, when coach Derek Dooley led the Vols out of the tunnel during pre-game, he tripped and fell to the turf. He bounced back up quickly and wasn't injured.
Dooley wore his trademark orange pants. He said he earlier in the week that he had no plans to change his distinctive attire.
Junior receiver Jacob Carter, who was a walk-on until receiving a scholarship a few days ago, made the first catch of his career, a 20-yard reception in the first half.
Sophomore Marcus Jackson appears to be the sixth man on Tennessee's offensive line. He entered the game in the second quarter to spell Antonio "Tiny" Richardson. Dallas Thomas moved to left tackle and Jackson entered at left guard. Richardson returned to action in the next series.
A victory over N.C. State might not resonate with UT fans like the upset of ninth-ranked Cal in the 2006 season opener. But any opening victory over a BCS opponent has merit.
In the previous 22 games against teams from what are now BCS conference schools, UT was 8-12-2.
The Vols lost their last two openers against BCS teams — to UCLA in 2008 and to Cal in 2007.
John Adams contributed to this story.