If University of Miami football penalties were parking tickets, the city of Coral Gables would be bringing in the bucks.
The Hurricanes have racked up big chunks of penalties this season, with no game as telling as last week’s 55-34 victory over Cincinnati.
Miami, flagged 13 times for 155 yards, came a mere 5 yards shy of its penalty yardage record of 160 against Virginia Tech in 1992 – though it should be noted that UM was flagged 16 times for 202 yards when it hammered Texas 46-3 on Jan. 1, 1991 in the Cotton Bowl.
The NCAA did not begin counting postseason statistics in the national record books until 2002.
“That’s a crazy amount of penalties,” UM coach Al Golden said, referring to the Cincinnati game.
The Bearcats were flagged five times for 54 yards.
Only three of 125 FBS teams have more penalty yards than the Hurricanes: Texas Tech, Marshall and BYU.
After seven games, UM (4-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has been flagged 57 times for 547 yards.
Golden was asked this week the type of penalties he can tolerate and the ones that are absolute no-nos.
“I would say the selfish ones are the absolute no-nos – if we get a celebration penalty because we’re not acknowledging the other 10 guys on the field,” Golden said.
“We want to play with a lot of energy and it’s just a very simple rule: celebrate with your teammates. First and foremost, those – any ones that are selfish like that, like a personal foul. But the ones that are aggressive in nature, you’re going to get those occasionally.”
Another type of penalty that irks Golden are the personal fouls in which a player retaliates. Though he didn’t specify players, Golden gave an example from the Cincinnati game in which running back Gus Edwards was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the kickoff after Brad Kaaya’s touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios made it 34-10 UM.
“So, instead of them having the ball on the [Cincinnati 27], they get the ball on the , they complete a pass and all of a sudden they’re on our 43. Those are the ones we absolutely have to get out of our program.”
Historically, teams that get penalized are often some of the best. UM’s all-time season record for most penalty yardage was 1,055 on 124 penalties in 2002 – the season UM lost to Ohio State in the national title game.
The 1991 Hurricanes national championship team amassed the third-most penalty yards in school history, with 996 on 119 penalties. And the 2001 national title team was fourth in school history, with 944 on 121 penalties.