1. Can Georgia State move the ball? McLane, a redshirt freshman, said didn’t play at his best in last week’s loss to South Carolina State. Accuracy, his strength, was missing as he completed seven of his 15 passes for 54. He was sacked five times. But he is definitely in charge after backup Kelton Hill asked to move to defensive back on Sunday. Look for the Panthers to try to get running back Donald Russell going early, something they didn’t do in the opener, to take the pressure off McLane.
2. Can the defense stop Tyler Bray? Despite a funky throwing motion, Bray picked apart N.C. State’s secondary for more than 300 yards passing and two touchdowns in last week’s win. Bray has plenty of weapons to choose from, led by Cordarrelle Patterson, who caught six passes for 93 yards last week. Conversely, the Panthers made South Carolina State quarterback Richard Cue look like one of the better QBs in the FCS with a 19-for-29 performance for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Can Matt Hubbard top last week’s performance? Hubbard averaged 62.2 yards per punt last week and could get plenty of opportunities in Saturday’s game. His right leg could be a strong weapon for Georgia State if he can make the Vols have to go as far as possible on every possession.
A win for Georgia State would …
Be its first against a FBS opponent.
Be one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
A win for Tennessee would …
Improve it to 92-18-5 in home openers.
Be consecutive 2-0 starts for the first time since 2003-04.
Tweet of the week
Getting pumped about another trip into SEC country!! #bleedblue #GSUFootball #STATEofSHOCK
Jeff Schultz predicts
This won’t be pretty. Actually, Georgia State football has never been pretty in these toddler years, but it has been particularly bad against FBS opponents: Losses to Alabama and Houston by a combined score of 119-7. Coach Bill Curry will have the distinction of losing to two generations of Dooleys (Vince, Derek), but it’s probably not something to have engraved on his gold watch when he retires (again). Enjoy “Rocky Top,” Panthers. You’re going to hear it a few times. Prediction: Pain.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu