Evaluating the First Three Maxims Today
Nationally, in 2009, Tennessee ranked 12th in fewest penalties per game, 8th in fewest penalty yards per game, and 47th in turnover margin.
Fumbles Gained | Lost: 14 | 7 INT’s Gained | Lost: 14 | 14 Penalties: 63 | 516 yds | 4.85 per game | 39.69 yds per game
With the relative high number of INTs last season (especially the first half) notwithstanding, these numbers were the mark of a pretty well-disciplined squad.
Entering (another) new era today, I will be interested in a lot of things. But, turnovers and penalties will be the mark of a well-prepared team, especially against out-manned opposition. And, what we do in the immediate aftermath of a turnover or penalty will give important grades to the first three maxims of General Neyland:
- The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.
- Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE.
- If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don’t let up… put on more steam.
The scoreboard is certainly one measure. Turnover ratio and penalties today may be a better litmus going into next week’s game against real quality opposition.