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. Here goes:
1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. (0.6)
Playing disciplined football.
Tennessee lost the turnover battle but the game was pretty much over by then. It wasn’t the difference in the game.
2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE. (0.2)
Being aggressive and opportunistic.
The thing that really stood out was just how close Vanderbilt was to hanging 50 on the Vols. A TD called back by an in-eligible receiver who had nothing to do with the play; two failed fourth down conversions.
3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam. (0.9)
Positive responses to bad circumstances, regardless of the situation.
Tennessee is the new Vanderbilt.
4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game. (0.4)
Minimizing opponent opportunity to strike quickly or make a comeback.
Protecting the QB was an issue, but Guarantano held onto to the ball too long, as well. Vandy toyed with Tennessee throughout the second half.
5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE. (1.0)
All about fundamentals; the little things. Many of them, not stat-friendly.
Safe to say there hasn’t been a lot of “WINNING EDGE” this season from Tennessee.
6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made. (2.7)
Special teams held a special place in the General’s heart.
Good night for team MVP Trevor Daniel. And Medley’s FG looked great. The Punt Return unit couldn’t get on the field while the Kick Return unit was apparently ready for the season to be done, as there appeared to be many returnable kicks that were downed in the end zone.
7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes. (0.7)
Coaching staff’s gameplan… and the players’ execution of it.
More than anything else, this team appears to give up just as soon as things start to go south.
Bottom Line Seven Maxims Scorecard Result: 0.9
Eight loss season. Winless in the SEC. A losing streak against every single team in the conference. Beaten by Vanderbilt for the fourth time in five years. This is rock bottom. Burn it down.