Florida’s Penalties, We love ’em (at least on Offense).

Question from Reddit user tacobellemel

“If Florida is penalized at a statistically significant rate higher than other schools. I found data back to 2002 and we are always in the bottom third in fewest penalties. Interestingly enough I also noticed FSU was usually down there with us so I wonder if there is some sort of unconscious bias against Florida schools.”
First the data. I collected data from 2000 to 2018 for the average number of penalties on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for all FBS teams.
When compared to the average, Florida consistently gets more penalties on offense the the average team in college football.
Defensively, Florida is a mixed bag and average out to the rest of the teams.

UF Penalties

To throw some stats in, here is a bell curve with Florida’s offensive penalties, where florida is worst than about 99.3% of teams in the FBS.

Bell Curve Penalties

Now for some good news, most stat heads agree that a negative yardage play on first down is significantly detrimental to that drive’s success. If I remember correctly, a team that takes a 5 yard penalty on 1 & 10 punts 25% more than teams that avoid 1st down errors.

Florida is significantly better than most teams on avoiding penalties on first down. Below is the bell curve for 1st down penalties,where Florida is about 71% better than most teams on first downs.

UF Penalties 1st Down

Go Gators (except on 2nd & 3rd down)

—–Matthew Mann


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