The Sunday Sampler – Duke

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Coach Mike London sounds frustrated with his team’s penalty issues.

Several disappointing trends appeared once again at Duke and that included the Virginia football team’s penchant for penalties. In a barnburner scoring contest, the Hoos had 11 penalties for 103 yards and that lost yardage certainly didn’t help matters. Cavalier coach Mike London, not surprisingly, was not happy with the flag-filled afternoon.

“We can’t do things that are going to knock you back and take you out of field position or make it second and long because you can dial up things and put pressure back on the offense or the defense for that matter,” London said after the game. “We had 11 and they had three – that is not acceptable. Then the turnovers compound that. Like I said it is frustrating. We have to get it fixed and I have to do a better job myself.”

Indeed, Virginia does need to get it fixed. The problem, however, is that the Hoos are showing no signs of slowing down in that department because the penalty problems are a season-long issue. As you can see in the list below, UVa has had only one game all season with less than 5 penalties. Six times, Virginia has received 7 flags or more. In three different games, the Hoos have surpassed 100 penalty yards – an entire field’s length worth of lost yards.

  • UR, 5-57
  • USC, 9-101
  • VMI, 5-45
  • FSU, 9-86
  • GT, 7-51
  • UNC, 8-63
  • EMU, 3-20
  • MIA, 11-105
  • Duke, 11-103

Those numbers add up to a poor outlook for Virginia when it comes to penalties. After the ninth game of the year on Saturday, UVa has 68 penalties for 631 yards, averages of 7.56 flags and 70.11 penalty yards per game. The 7.56 penalties per game are tied for 103rd among the 120 FBS teams. The 70.11 penalty yards per game ranks 112th in the standings, leaving Virginia as one of just nine teams nationally averaging more than 70 penalty yards per game.

Interestingly, only three of those nine teams, including UVa, have a losing record. In Virginia’s case, however, there is a very thin margin of error win it comes to winning or losing games. The three games