College football is set to kickoff this week and all of the hype will surround the games between Michigan vs. Alabama, and Boise State vs. Michigan State, but the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta should not be overlooked.
Tennessee and North Carolina State are often considered second-tiered teams in their respective conferences, but truth be told, they both are loaded with talent and ready to make a splash on the college football scene. However, leading up to kickoff the Volunteers have made news for the wrong reasons.
Tennessee has indefinitely suspended stand out wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers for an unspecified violation of team rules. Rodgers will be missed on offense. Last year he had 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns.
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NC St. is being vastly over looked in this contest. The Wolfpack is coming into the year with the second-most starting experience (112 total starts) and they have one of the better coaches in Tom O’Brien. That line will provide plenty of protection for Senior Mike Glennon. The experienced signal caller threw for 3,054 yards, 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2011 and will give the Wolfpack a veteran leader headed into the opener.
At running back, senior James Washington will lead the way and get the bulk of the carries along with redshirt sophomore, Tony Creecy. The offense is in very capable hands with a stout front and a talented field general.
On defense, the Wolfpack play an agreesive attacking defense that goes after the quarterback and they will set their sights on Tyler Bray. The Wolfpack defensive coaches focus on bringing the opposing quarterback down. In the last two years, the Pack has tallied 80 sacks which is a huge number that over shadows the total of 42 that the Vols have accumulated in the last two years.
The Vols play in the tough SEC and that will give them an edge in the eyes of the public. A look at the sports betting consensus numbers shows that 53% of the public are backing the Vols at the betting window.However a closer look will reveal that the Wolfpack have the edge and should be favored in this game. The Wolfpack will be ready to start off with a win and a big upset over Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic.