Saturday, September 8, 2012
Bray shines in Tennessee romp
By David Helman
Tennessee 51, Georgia State 13: It looked like Tennessee might be primed for a letdown after about a quarter and a half of football.
A 30-yard field goal from Georgia State kicker Christian Benvenuto with about six minutes to play in the second quarter Saturday afternoon cut the Volunteers' lead to a paltry 14-6. After last weekend's offensive explosion against NC State, it seemed destined to be an ugly, bumbling win for Derek Dooley's squad.
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray changed all that when he took charge of the Volunteers' next possession, however. Bray led the Vols on scoring drives of 73 and 79 yards in the last five minutes of the first half. Those two drives just took four plays and three plays, respectively. Bray capped off both drives with touchdown passes to wide receiver Justin Hunter, pushing Tennessee's advantage to an insurmountable 28-6 at half.
Bray left the game early with an impressive stat line: 18 of 20 for 310 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those went to Hunter, who reminded Vols fans why he went into the season as the No. 1 target with eight receptions for 146 yards. Mychal Rivera grabbed the fourth touchdown and finished with 71 yards on three receptions.
Not surprisingly, the Volunteers had their way in all aspects of offense. The ground game cranked out 186 yards on the Panthers, led by Rajion Neal's 65 yards and two touchdowns.
Combined with last week's win against the Wolfpack, Tennessee is now averaging 541 yards per game. It will be fun to see how well that holds up next weekend, when No. 24 Florida comes to Knoxville, Tenn., for a battle of early undefeated teams.