Year 2 of the Jeremy Pruitt era at Tennessee didn't get off to a good start on Saturday as Volunteers lost their season opener 38-30 to Georgia State at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
Tennessee lost its second consecutive season opener on Saturday. The Volunteers lost 40-14 at West Virginia to kick off the 2018 season. Saturday marked their first loss in a home opener since 1983.
Pruitt and Co. jumped out to a 14-7 first quarter lead on Saturday after entering the afternoon as 24.5-point favorites, and Georgia State's moneyline closed at +1400 before kickoff. But the Panthers dominated the second half, outscoring Tennessee 20-6 over the last 30 minutes.
Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington secured a two-score lead with less than five minutes to play, scoring on a 22-yard scamper to the end zone.
The Panthers were coming off a 2–10 season, including a 1–7 mark in the Sun Belt conference of the FCS.
Pruitt is now 5–8 as the Volunteers' head coach. Tennessee has not logged a winning season since 2016, and it has not won 10 games in a season since 2007.