Justin Wilcox doesn't seem to want anything printed out for him after a game.
The Tennessee defensive coordinator doesn't appear to even have a need for a sheet of paper with a bunch of numbers.
Only one statistic really matters to him, and as long as there's enough electricity to power those enormous, bright lights all around a stadium on Saturdays in the fall, the Vols can save a couple trees.
"I think stats are for losers," Wilcox said. "The only thing I'm looking for after a game is if we won."
Figuring that out doesn't require any special formulas or complex analysis. A film review isn't necessary to answer that basic question, and it doesn't take a printout of the massive amount of numbers that a single game generates to solve the equation for either 'W' or 'L.'
Wilcox is surrounded by coaches singularly motivated and judged by the illuminated numbers on the scoreboard, and there's obviously nobody at UT who would value another statistic over finishing with more points than the other team.
But when it comes time to explain how or why the Vols won or lost, even Wilcox needs to rely on something a little more revealing than the score.
After all, both winners and losers have stats. And everybody has one that seems to matter just a little bit more than others.
Derek Dooley piles up data.
Red-zone success. Third-down conversions. Yards per attempt. Tallies of explosive plays.
The Vols coach wants it all, and he's the first to admit using numbers drives him as he leads the program in his second season.
But nothing matters more to him than the ultimate outcome. And in figuring out what makes a team more successful than others, he's found nothing that matters more than turnovers.
"What impacts winning and losing? No. 1 is turnovers," Dooley said. "I've done a three-year study. Over the last three years you take every team in college football, and the teams that have a plus-one turnover ratio per game, ending the year plus-12 or more, they average 9.5 wins a season.
"So, turnover ratio is huge."
It isn't hard to figure out how protecting the ball on offense and taking it away on defense would bode well for a team, but the point seems to be that it doesn't take much to tip the scales.
In a small sample size, the Vols threw two interceptions at No. 15 Florida in their last outing before the bye week, giveaways they offset by forcing a fumble. UT (2-1, 0-1 SEC) lost that game by 10.
But even that number can be massaged a bit. Dooley dives to collect more precious data than just interceptions and fumbles — though that's obviously a fine place for him to start.
"It's not just that," Dooley said. "The fourth-down stops are turnovers, the blocked punt is a turnover that doesn't really go in that stat. I think that's No. 1, and I've found that — not talking about points here — explosive plays, an ability to generate big plays is huge.
"If you take those two things, my experience has been that the team that has the best ratio of turnovers and big plays tend to win over time. That's what we were doing pretty good, especially our big plays. When you look at the end of last season when we were winning, we were hitting a lot of big plays."
And at plus-nine, the Vols also had a decisive edge in that critical turnover battle as they rattled off four consecutive victories in 2010.
Wilcox obviously doesn't hide his feelings about building a defense based on statistical analysis, particularly since the coordinator is smart enough to know how easy it is to manipulate the numbers.
Using one of the three things he does admit to looking at after a game, third-down defense, his point is made quickly. The percentage can be skewed by plays that only needed one or two yards for a first down.
But then, if his team was constantly allowing an offense to put itself in those favorable situations, there's a good chance another category he follows is coming into play as well.
"On our part for our self-scout, it's going to be missed tackles," Wilcox said. "Big-picture, just statistically, third downs and explosive plays (of 25 yards or more) are always big to me. I think all those things, stats, you can build them however you want to build them. They're important, they are, and at the end of the day there are certain things that are going to be critical for us.
"But how you play in your technique and your alignments, that's a result of the stats. We've got to be more worried about the fundamentals of it than what the stats sheet said. If we start sitting there and saying we're giving up this-much percent, we've got to be better on third downs, well, how do you get better on third downs?"
The surest bet is by forcing an offense to work harder to convert them, which starts with solid tackling, reliable technique and cutting back on misalignments even before the snap.
There's no line in the box score for errors in any of those departments, but Wilcox is definitely counting them on film.
"In terms of the third downs, the goal is to keep the offense under 33 percent," Wilcox said. "Now, here's the big key to third downs, if you're at third-and-3, third-and-4 all day, your percentages are going to go up.
"So we've got to do a good job on first down and second down to get them in the right third down so we have a chance."
What a missed field goal is going to cost the Vols on the scoreboard is obvious.
Eric Russell doesn't have much need to look at kicking statistics to figure out the impact after the game.
But the part the special teams coordinator and his unit plays in terms of field position might be overlooked, though not by Russell.
"I look at the end of the game — after a special-teams play, where was their offense taking the ball or where did their drive start at compared to ours," Russell said. "We lost that battle by about 11 yards last week against Florida. They started every drive after a special teams play, I want to say it was like the 35-yard line or the 36-yard line and we were at the 24.
"Not doing our jobs."
The official drive charts handed out after a game include the average field position for each team, but like seemingly every other coach, it takes a bit of tweaking to get exactly what he's looking for to prove his point in a meeting room.
For instance, in the loss going into the open date, the Vols started one drive on the Florida 36-yard line and used the short field to produce a touchdown. But that series began after a fumble recovery and not a play on special teams — so Russell would scrap that from his figures.
But a missed field goal would seemingly count doubly against the Vols, first by costing them three points and secondly by giving up field position.
"You go down and miss a field goal, they take over and get a field goal, so there's a six-point swing right there," Russell said. "Then we're backed up later, we get a short punt, (Chris) Rainey runs it down near the 30, they get another field goal.
"As bad as we played, you eliminate any of those, maybe it's a different fourth quarter."
Jim Chaney only has eyes for wins and losses, like everybody else on the Vols' coaching staff.
But the offensive coordinator doesn't just limit that cold, hard judgment for the end of the game. Chaney also does it for every play, leaning on offensive efficiency from the first snap to the last as his barometer for success — mostly because it's somewhat flexible depending on situations, leaving it less vulnerable to per-play averages that might not paint a clear picture.
"There isn't one thing that stands out because every game is so totally different," Chaney said. "Your personality has to change within the game because things change. It always blows my mind to set up a game plan all week to do certain things, but then all of a sudden things change — a rainstorm hits and you can't even see the ball. Snowstorm hits, somebody gets injured, two of your linemen go down or whatever the reason — you have to adjust during the game.
"So to say there's one stat, that would be kind of misleading because every game is so different."
But the Vols have set a goal of 55 percent efficiency when they run the ball, a number that is determined by wins or losses in various scenarios throughout the game.
For instance, a four-yard carry on first down would be a victory for the offense. Anything less would go down as a loss. But that doesn't mean the Vols are looking for four yards per carry, because getting two yards on third-and-1 would also go down as a win.
And, obviously, the more victories an offense has throughout the game, the more likely it is to score points. So when all those other factors are taken into account in the other two phases, the goal is always to be sure the scoreboard lights are shining with the only numbers the Vols really want to read — more for them, less for the other guys.
"I don't quantify a lot of statistics and say we were good or bad because of this," Chaney said. "I think statistics can help you identify some issues that come up when it's a chronic thing. If you see one you don't like, you can kind of focus practice that way. But to determine wins and losses, I don't know.
"Quite honestly I'm not a big stat guy. Ultimately I look at that one, 'W' or 'L,' and whatever you've got to do to win."