Virginia holds onto penalties

November, 16, 2010
11/16/10
11:00
AM ET
According to Virginia coach Mike London, holding is the No. 1 penalty in the ACC, called 17 percent of the time a flag is thrown.

He would know -- Virginia is called for holding 25 percent of the time.

"That's way, way too many," he said. "Whether it's linemen or receivers or tight ends or backs. So spread it around, it's 25 percent too much."

And it's added up -- to a total loss of 776 yards. Virginia ranks 114th in the nation in fewest penalties per game and is 118th with an average of 77.6 penalty yards per game.

London has done his homework on the situation.

The No. 2 penalty in the ACC is false starts, which is called 18 percent of the time. At Virginia, players are whistled for it 15 percent of the time.

"So it's below the average," London said. "But, again, it's too many guys moving before you're supposed to move."

No. 3 is defensive offsides. Virginia and the rest of the ACC are called for it nine percent of the time. That brings him back to holding as the Hoos' biggest problem.

It's not necessarily a problem with discipline, London said, it's learning how to block.

"The lack of discipline would be personal fouls, unnecessary roughness with your head or sideline warnings," London said. "As animated as I am, I never got called for a bench foul, and that's been called in the conference.

"So is that a discipline thing as far as players handling themselves? I think we have to do a better job of teaching hand placement with receivers, offensive linemen or anyone that's blocking on the perimeter.

"So we'll continue to learn. You'll see we'll do better. I'm responsible for that. As I said last night, the coaches that coach those positions are responsible for that, and the players ultimately are responsible for taking the coaching and teaching because they are being taught the right way. They have to execute so. We'll address that in practice this week."

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