Miami Hurricanes penalties have been prevalent during Manny Diaz era

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Hurricanes have been ranked in the bottom quarter nationally in penalties during the Manny Diaz era. Miami ranked 105th averaging seven penalties per game in 2019 for an average of 60.2 yards that was 93rd. In 2020 Miami was 112th with an average of 7.8 penalties per game for 69.4 yards that were 113th.

This season the Miami Hurricanes are114th with an average of 7.7 penalties per game for an average of 68.8 YPG per game to rank 115th. Those numbers are disturbing. Miami had 14 penalties for 105 yards against Florida State on Saturday. The Seminoles were called for eight penalties for 60 yards.

There was a multitude of reasons that the Miami Hurricanes were flagged so many times. Manny Diaz has said in many meetings with the media in the postgame since Saturday that the players were too amped up on the opening drive. Miami had five penalties for 30 yards on the opening Florida State drive.

The Seminoles drove 78 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead with 9:50 remaining in the first quarter. The referees were calling a tight game on Saturday and several of the calls were due to rules that have been changed to make the game safer. In a one-game scenario, it can be dismissed as a one-off issue with penalties.

Teams that commit too many penalties are viewed as undisciplined. Viewed in a vacuum conclusions are often made in a small sample size with teams committing too many penalties. Over a 34 game sample size in three seasons it’s a troubling trend. Diaz and his staff need to figure out how to minimize penalties.

In 2019, Miami opponents had the 13th highest penalties yards per game averaging 66.6 with 7.5 flags per game that were 11th. Miami opponents finished 11th with 6.8 penalties per game in 2020 for an average of 68.5 yards that was 10th. In 2021, Miami opponents are getting called for 7.8 penalties per game that is 10th nationally.

Hurricanes 2021 opponents are getting called for 72.1 penalty yards per game for the seventh most. Miami games are clearly called tighter than other games. A deeper dive into each Miami game since Manny Diaz took over would provide a more telling reason why both the Hurricanes and their opponents rank high in penalties.

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It could be the image Miami created during their title years. Miami opponents are getting called for more penalties and more yardage per game. There could be a variety of factors for this. How is the game being played? Is there too much trash-talking on both sides? What would a referee think causes the excessive penalties.