Seventy years after his last game as head coach at Tennessee, General Robert Neyland's infamous "game maxims" still hold true—at least they did Saturday night.
In accordance with Neyland's first and sixth laws, UT made fewer mistakes than the Akron Zips and pressed the kicking game—though not necessarily by choice in the 47-26 UT victory.
A week after missing an extra point, kicker Derrick Brodus connected on all nine of his attempts, including four field goals, as he became the first UT kicker since Daniel Lincoln in 2007 to connect on four attempts in a single game.
"I didn't want to hammer him for one extra point," Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said. "I just felt like he deserved another shot, and he went out there and kicked it great. They were big. We were struggling in the red zone."
The Vols converted on all eight of their trips inside the Akron 20, four of them resulting in field goals from the kicker previously known for his emergency appearance in UT's 24-0 victory over MTSU in 2011.
"Last week, I had a miss hit and that's one of those things where you just have to have a short memory and move on to the next kick and don't think about it," Brodus said. "(Tonight) I definitely just went into each kick one kick at a time and (then) moving onto the next one."
The junior walk-on's first kick was a career-long 37 yards. It was set up by UT junior safety Byron Moore's interception of Zips quarterback Dalton Williams.
A later pick by Moore gave him three on the year, the most of any player on the UT team.
With the score 23-23 at half-time, Williams was directing an Akron drive deep in UT territory on its first possession of the second half. The Zips were poised to take the lead until Moore stepped in, picking off a pass at the two-yard line.
The play evened the turnover battle at two, and made Moore the first player since Eric Berry in 2007 to record multiple interceptions in a game for the Vols.
A fourth quarter pick by junior cornerback Eric Gordon gave the Vols a 3-2 edge in the turnover category, and set up a one-play Tennessee touchdown drive that gave the Vols their first two-possesion lead of the game.
"It was huge, especially Eric Gordon's," Dooley said. "That was a big play in the game. It kind of let us pull away. That's what we need on this defense. We've got to get turnovers."
The UT defense has picked off eight passes so far in 2012, a mark it didn't reach until the eleventh game of the 2011 season.
"It is definitely good when we can come out and win the turnover battle," Moore said. "The plays that we do give up we try to get them down as quick as possible. I think we did good. We didn't really give up many big passing plays."