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Tennessee Defense Improving from Last Season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee knows its hopes of delivering a turnaround season depend on creating more turnovers.

So far, so good.

Tennessee's preseason emphasis on takeaways paid off Friday when the Volunteers picked off four passes in a 35-21 victory over North Carolina State. Tennessee's Curt Maggitt also sacked North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon and forced a fumble that resulted in a safety.

Junior cornerback Eric Gordon says the Volunteers are "trying to set a statement for our defense."

Tennessee and Kansas are the only teams in the nation that already have intercepted four passes. Last year, Tennessee didn't collect its fourth interception until its ninth game of the season. The Vols recorded only 18 takeaways last season to rank 10th out of 12 Southeastern Conference teams.

Tennessee hosts Georgia State Saturday.


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