ATLANTA - It was Friday night delight for the University of Tennessee football team.
The Volunteers opened their 2012 season in dazzling fashion by defeating North Carolina State 35-21 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. It was the first Tennessee triumph inside the Georgia Dome since the 1998 Southeastern Conference championship game.
New receiver Cordarrelle Patterson made quick memory of the recently dismissed Da'Rick Rogers by amassing 160 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. Tennessee trailed 7-6 late in the first quarter before scoring 16 points on three consecutive plays, sandwiching a safety between a 72-yard pass from Tyler Bray to Zach Rogers and a 67-yard run by Patterson.
Tennessee was playing its first regular-season game on a Friday since 1939.
"It's certainly not something you want to do every year," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "I know with our leadership that it's not something we want to do because we support the high schools so much, and we don't ever want to try and take away from their support. I think it's a one-time deal."
A one-time deal the Vols made the most of.