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Arkansas Raking in Penalty Yards

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Penalties have been a recurring problem for Arkansas this season.

It continued Saturday as the Razorbacks racked up a season-high 130 yards on 13 penalties in a 49-14 win over Vanderbilt. It marked the third time this year Arkansas had double-digit penalties and the second time the Razorbacks topped the century mark in penalty yards.

“That’s a lot of penalties,” quarterback Ryan Mallett said. “I looked at the scoreboard in the fourth quarter (Saturday) and I didn’t realize we had that many penalties. But that’s the little things we always talk about that we can’t do because it’s going to hurt us. We’ve just got to look at it, see what we did and work on that. We’ve definitely got to eliminate them, though.

“It’s just a lack of focus. It’s a lack of focus on all 11 guys.”

Arkansas leads the SEC in penalty yards this season and by a wide margin. The Razorbacks are averaging 74.1 penalty yards per game – more than 20 more than 11th-place Auburn. Only five other teams are averaging more penalty yards in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

But it seems Arkansas’ opponents are playing to the level of the Hogs’ sloppiness – or vice versa. The Razorbacks’ opponents are averaging a league-leading 59.1 penalty yards per game, meaning on average there are 133.2 penalty yards each time Arkansas takes the field.

Asked about the penalties Monday, Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino said, “You know, we’re not going to talk a lot about the negatives. We’re going to focus on the positives and getting better, and then you work hard to get rid of the negatives.”

Defensive end Damario Ambrose said discipline is the key to eliminating the mistakes, especially at home.

“I know I personally jumped offsides,” Ambrose said. “I need to make sure I don’t do that. As an overall defense, sometimes when you start getting aggressive, you can start making mistakes. We just need to focus on the ball, eliminating mistakes and we’ll do better.”

For more visit You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.


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