A look at the most penalized teams in the Pac-12 over the last five years
At the Power Five level, only Florida State and Syracuse have been more heavily penalized in recent years than the two Los Angeles schools in the Pac-12.
USC has averaged 7.5 penalties a game over the last five seasons. UCLA has averaged 7.2 penalties a game. Florida State is the only team with more than the Trojans. Syracuse sits at 7.3 a game. At the other end, Washington and California have been the least-penalized Pac-12 teams since 2017.
Here’s each team:
- Washington — 275 total, 4.9 per game
- California — 306 total, 5.7 per game
- Utah — 355 total, 5.9 per game
- Stanford — 339 total, 5.9 per game
- Washington State — 334 total, 6.0 per game
- Colorado — 341 total, 6.3 per game
- Arizona State — 355 total, 6.3 per game
- Oregon State — 359 total, 6.4 per game
- Oregon — 416 total, 6.8 per game
- Arizona — 377 total, 7.0 per game
- UCLA — 403 total, 7.2 per game
- USC — 428 total, 7.5 per game
It’s no coincidence the top of the list includes teams who boast some of the top coaches in the league right now. The five-year span includes mostly Chris Petersen at Washington. Justin Wilcox is viewed as a strong head coach, he just hasn’t been able to get the offense worked out. Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Stanford’s David Shaw are indisputable top-20 or so coaches.
Another thing worth noting: Arizona State has been trending in the wrong direction since hiring Herm Edwards. The Sun Devils were penalized just 50 times in 13 games in 2017 (3.9 a game). That average jumped to 6.1 in 2018, then 6.5, then 7.0, and finally 8.7 a season ago. In each of the last two seasons, Arizona State has been the most penalized team in the Pac-12. Last year, it was flagged 113 times in 13 games. Following the rules has been tough under the pro model. The irony…
The Sun Devils kick off the season for the Pac-12 this year. Arizona State hosts Northern Arizona next Thursday. Colorado plays TCU on Friday night, then we see a full Saturday slate.