Neither team is ranked in the top 25, the game is being played on ESPNU and a battle between two top 25 teams will be going on just a few channels away, but make no mistake, Tennessee and NC State is the game to watch on Friday night,
Tyler Bray enters his junior season as the Vols' quarterback, and he has already caught the attention of the NFL Draft community. While his leading receiver from a year ago was suspended and has since transfered from Tennessee, Bray will still have the 6-foot-4 Justin Hunter at his disposal.
The problem? Hunter will be blanketed all night by NC State super-corner David Amerson. After picking off an ACC single-season record 13 passes in 2011, Amerson has become a household name in college football.
We'll take a look at the top prospects in this game for each team, break down the key match ups to watch and pose a few questions about Friday night's game. All of that good stuff comes after the jump.
Tennessee at North Carolina State (Neutral Site Game) 7:30 p.m. eastern time ESPNU
Tennessee 2013 NFL Draft prospects
Offense - #8 - Tyler Bray, QB - 6'5'', 215 pounds (Junior), #11 Justin Hunter, WR - 6'4'', 200 pounds (Junior), #71 - Dallas Thomas, OL - 6'5'', 310 pounds, #81 Mychal Rivera, TE - 6'3'', 245 pounds (Senior), #70 Ja'Waun James, OT - 6'6'', 320 pounds (Junior), #72 - Zach Fulton, OG - 6'5'', 325 pounds (Junior)
Defense - #23 - Prentiss Wagner, DB - 6'2'', 184 pounds, #98 - Daniel McCullers, DT - 6'6'', 377 pounds (Junior), #55 - Jacques Smith, LB - 6'2'', 240 pounds (Junior), #34 - Herman Lathers - 6'0'', 230 pounds (Senior)
North Carolina State 2013 NFL Draft prospects
Defense - #1 David Amerson, CB - 6'3'', 200 pounds (Junior) #30 - Brandon Bishop, S - 6'1'', 205 pounds (Senior), #69 - Thomas Teal, DT - 6'2'', 315 pounds (RS Sophomore)
Tennessee's Justin Hunter (WR, #11) vs. North Carolina State's David Amerson (CB, #1)
Tucked away on ESPNU, we have two blue chip prospects going head-to-head. Justin Hunter is coming off a torn ACL, but prior to the injury, he looked like one of the best receivers in te country. He is the total package at wide receiver. He may have a tough time getting open against the rangy David Amerson, though. It will be a trat to see these two battle for the ball, as both display great leaping ability and ball skills. We know Tyler Bray won't shy away from trying to beat Amerson.
Questions of the Night
How does Justin Hunter look coming off the knee injury, and has Tyler Bray taken a step forward in his development?
Friday night's game will be a huge test for both Justin Hunter and Tyler Bray. Hunter's health will be tested against the No. 1 corner back in the country. NC State also has a pair of senior safeties that round out the Wolfpack secondary, giving them a tough secondary for Hunter and Bray to stand up to. Each Vol has a lot to prove, and the departure of Da'Rick Rogers only puts more pressure on them. It's going to be an interesting season down in Knoxville.
Is Mike Glennon any more accurate or smart with the football?
Mike Glennon enters his senior season as dark horse for the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has the prototypical size and arm strength talent evaluators love to see, but his accuracy and decision making have held him back up to this point. Let's see how the strong-armed senior looks against an SEC defense on Friday night.