6. Turnover battle
Yes, it’s cliche. But both Tennessee football and the BYU Cougars had three turnovers last week. The Vols allowed two touchdowns and a field goal on the three turnovers, including one on the second play of the game and two more that put the Georgia State Panthers in complete control late in the fourth. It was a disaster altogether.
BYU, meanwhile, saw Zach Wilson throw two pick-sixes and Ty’Son Williams, a transfer from the South Carolina Gamecocks who played at Neyland Stadium in 2017, commit a fumble. The Utah Utes scored a touchdown on that fumble, meaning by nature of the pick-sixes they scored touchdowns off all three turnovers.
Oh, both teams had a turnover on downs as well. And Jarrett Guarantano threw an interception in the red zone late in the first half but was bailed out due to a penalty. Simply put, the Vols and Cougars left a lot on the field in their openers, giving up a lot of points due to turnovers. So which team will make the mistakes this game? Gen. Neyland’s first game maxim will apply.
Now, at least UT was able to force a turnover itself on a strip-sack. BYU didn’t force any. But still, both were bad at taking care of the football, and that could mean a disastrously ugly game on Saturday. Jeremy Pruitt annoyingly used the cliche about the team making the fewest mistakes earlier this week. It may come into play in a big way on Saturday, though.