Pac-10 football penalties: Stoops’ teams have been least flaggedby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 28, 2010, under Sports
The Arizona Wildcats have been a mess in the past two games when it comes to penalties — 22 flags for 202 yards.
“I don’t know,” said coach Mike Stoops, asked after Saturday’s game if he could identify the causes of the surge in penalties.
“Gotta look at it. Really disappointed in that aspect. You know, we’ve been good enough to overcome them, but that is only going to last for so long.”
Five of Arizona’s penalties in the past two games — wins over Iowa and Cal — have been a combination of personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Our discipline wasn’t very good when it needed to be,” Stoops said after the 10-9 victory over the Bears.
This has been a rarity for Arizona under Stoops.
In Stoops’ first six seasons at Arizona (2004 through 2009), the Wildcats were the least penalized team in the Pac-10 (5.5 per game) and incurred the fewest penalty yards (45.6 per game).
Arizona is the only Pac-10 team in that span to twice finish in the national Top 10 in fewest penalties. The Cats were eighth nationally in 2004 and sixth in 2008, when they averaged a scant 4.1 flags and 35.15 penalty yards per game.
Arizona State — at an average of eight penalties per game — has been the most penalized team in the conference in the past six seasons. The Sun Devils have 5,197 penalty yards in that span; the Wildcats have 3,283. That’s a difference of 1,914 yards.
There has not, however, been a direct correlation between penalty avoidance and winning.
USC hasn’t finished better than 70th nationally in penalties in any of the past five years. Oregon has been the second-most penalized-team in the league in the past six seasons. Oregon State has been the next worst.
Here is the breakdown for Pac-10 penalties from 2004-2009: