Through two games, Tennessee football has not been too bad when it comes to penalties. They have nine penalties for a total of 74 yards on the season, putting them in the top 30 when it comes to fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards per game. This is one positive they can tout through their 0-2 start.
However, things did get worse last week. The Vols committed six penalties for 50 yards against the BYU Cougars, which was definitely a major regression from the first week. They have a lot more work to do if they are going to have any chance to win an SEC game later this year, and the Chattanooga Mocs could be their first attempt at getting better.
Meanwhile, Chattanooga is absolutely awful at not committing penalties. They have committed 16 on the year for 169 yards. And that’s at the FCS level. If they are going to make this a game on Saturday, they can’t allow that to be an issue. After all, such mistakes will always keep a lower-tier team from being able to compete against FBS programs, even 0-2 ones like the Vols.
Obviously, the way to make this game close would be for UT to have the penalty problem and Chattanooga not. But that’s not the case, and it’s a big advantage for the Vols in trying to keep this game from becoming a scare. They need to do better than last week, though, and they can’t assume that the Mocs haven’t gotten any better.