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The Tennessee Volunteers and the N.C State Wolfpack will match up in the first of two ACC and SEC matchups in consecutive nights at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. This is the first time that the Georgia Dome will be hosting these back-to-back games in the opening kickoff weekend.
Neither the Volunteers nor the Wolfpack are picked as favorites in their respective conferences or divisions. But that doesn’t mean that these two teams do not have the ability to turn some heads.
For Derek Dooley and Tennessee, things look like they can only improve. After going 1-7 in SEC play last year, the Volunteers program needed to do some soul searching in the offseason. Of course, that record was not helped by the fact that star freshman quarterback Tyler Bray was injured for half of the season.
Bray is expected to come into 2012 and make a big splash. He is considered among on of the top quarterbacks returning in the SEC this season, along with Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and Aaron Murray of Georgia.
It doesn’t help though that Da’Rick rogers, one of the best receivers in the country was dismissed from the team last week. Bray loses his best target on the outside, leaving the Volunteers without a huge weapon. So there will need to be some players who step it up.
On the other side of the field for N.C State, they are picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the ACC Atlantic division.
But quarterback Mike Glennon will try to lead the Wolfpack to a memorable season, which would get off to a great start with a win over Tennessee on Friday night. He will need some help in the run game though, as N.C State ranked 109th in Division I in rushing yards in 2011. That is something that will need to improve.
Tennessee vs N.C State betting odds available at Bovada Sportsbook have set the Volunteers as 3.5-point favorites over the Wolfpack in this match up. To cover, Tennessee will need to win by at least four points.
This one kicks off at 7:30pm ET on Friday night on ESPNU. Check out these betting odds and the rest of the slate below.