Mark Richt dealing with a problem Al Golden also had at Miami

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday October 31, 2016

Penalties were an issue for Miami under Al Golden. It’s continued under Mark Richt in his first season, and they were costly on Saturday.

The Canes committed 10 penalties in the 30-27 loss to Notre Dame, including three 15-yarders. Through eight games, Miami is averaging 7.3 penalties per game, No. 94 nationally.

“You’ve just got to ask yourself and ask the team, ‘What would happen if we would force someone to beat us and not help them?’” Richt said Monday morning on WQAM. “We discipline them, we run them, we do this and that. But the bottom line is you have to care enough about your team not to do that.

“I told them it’s a pride penalty. If somebody does something to you during a play or after a play and you want to retaliate, it makes no sense to do that. ‘Coach, he did this to me.’ I don’t care what he did. It doesn’t matter. You need to walk away. If you don’t, you’re costing your team.”

Here are Miami’s penalty numbers since Golden's first season in 2011. Last year, Miami was dead last. 

One such penalty Saturday was an unsportsmanlike conduct after Miami’s second touchdown. As a result, Miami kicked off from the 20-yard line, and it was returned to midfield.

“To kick the ball from the 20-yard line, that kickoff would have been 7 yards deep if we kick from the normal spot. They’d get the ball on the 25 instead of the 50,” Richt said. “Those kind of things, you just can’t have.”

The Canes have lost four straight after a 4-0 start. Three of those losses have come by seven points or fewer. They have committed 30 penalties in those four games.

At least three games, we’re a play or two away from victory,” Richt said. “If you do enough things right, at the right moment, you get a chance to win those games. The problem is you don’t know what play might be the play that makes the difference. You have to have them understand every play is that play. You have to do the things right on a consistent basis, keep believing, and when you experience a victory like that, it catches fire for you.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to