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Tennessee Falls To Georgia State In First Big-Time Upset Of 2019 Season

Jarrett Guarantano attempts a pass for Tennessee against Georgia State.

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - AUGUST 31: Jarrett Guarantano #2 of Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass against Georgia State Panthers during the first quarter of the season opener at Neyland Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

The Tennessee Volunteers were supposed to take a big step forward in head coach Jeremy Pruitt's second year at the helm. The first week of the season did not go as planned.

Tennessee was around a 26-point favorite against Georgia State in most sports books heading into Saturday. But the Panthers, coming off just a two-win season, were up to the task.

Georgia State knocked off Tennessee in Knoxville, 38-30. The biggest reason? Turnovers and offensive line play.

Tennessee fumbled the ball away twice during the contest. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano also threw an interception late with his team trailing by two scores. It was an ugly, ugly affair for the Vols and their fans.

Georgia State took its first lead just after halftime when Dan Ellington found Cornelius McCoy for a six-yard score to make it 21-17. After two Tennessee field goals, the Panthers reclaimed the lead on a 19-yard touchdown run by Tra Barnett. A 22-yard scamper by Ellington put the game out of reach late. Tennessee fans, as you'd imagine, are in absolute shock. Many were booing the team's performance during the fourth quarter.

Tennessee has suffered two straight losing seasons. While this is just one game, fans can't be thrilled about the direction the program appears to be headed.

The Vols won't have time to lick their wounds for very long. They get BYU next Saturday night.