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Seven Maxims Scorecard: Tennessee Tech

Comparing the Vols' performance against General Neyland's timeless standards: The Seven Maxims of Football.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Since the 1930's the University of Tennessee has been measuring themselves against seven keys to winning football as first summarized by General Robert Neyland. The Seven Maxim's Scorecard is a quantitative and qualitative analysis of how, relative to that week's opponent, the Vols performed against each of the seven directives. Grading is on a 4.0 scale, with a 4.0 being perfect, which is rare. In this analysis, it's possible for Tennessee to have won without excelling on all fronts, but it is impossible to have performed well in all seven areas in a loss.


1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. (3.6)

Playing disciplined football.


Still a few too many penalties; but this was the first turnover-free game of the season and both return units had a good day.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE. (3.6)

Being aggressive and opportunistic.


Not only did Tennessee have more big plays, four of them went for touchdowns. The defense did their part, as well. Limiting Tech to only 1 of 8 on 4th down conversions.

3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam. (N/A)
Positive responses to bad circumstances, regardless of the situation.


A refreshing change of pace from an offense that has repeatedly shown up to the party late and been too loose with the ball.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game. (3.1)
Minimizing opponent opportunity to strike quickly or make a comeback.


Tennessee got killed in the time of possession and plays run categories but let's flip that around: 55 points on 52 plays across only 18:44 time of possession is a thing of beauty. Nice to see the offensive line keep all 3 QB's clean, too.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE. (4.0)
All about fundamentals; the little things. Many of them, not stat-friendly. 


Maxim 5 was the primary culprit in last week's South Carolina debacle so, despite the level of competition, this represents a nice bounce-back game.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made. (3.5)
Special teams held a special place in the General's heart.


Great day for the return units, with Tyler Byrd getting the game off to a great start with Tennessee's one (1) opportunity on kickoffs and Marquez Callaway adding 2 big punt returns, including taking one to the house. It had no bearing on the outcome, but Trevor Daniel did not have a great day, putting two of three punts in the end zone for a net average of only 32.3 yards.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes. (3.7)
Coaching staff's gameplan... and the players' execution of it.


The Vols averaged 9.1 yards per play; an awesome number regardless of the competition. A slight downgrade for the FG to end the first half. Go for it, Coach!

Bottom Line Seven Maxims Scorecard Result: 3.6

The game we've all been waiting for all year. It's hard to get too excited based on the competition, but for the first time all season Tennessee played a first quarter like it meant something and dominated the opponent from start to finish. They did all they could do this Saturday, and that's good enough for The General.