Gators accept task of stopping penalties

September, 4, 2012
9/04/12
8:00
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida’s players are being disciplined for committing 14 penalties in the Gators’ season opener against Bowling Green.

Coach Will Muschamp won’t say what the punishment is, other than to say it comes on the practice field, but he offered assurances that the players are facing consequences for committing a penalty against the Falcons.

Then again, they were disciplined last season, too, and the Gators ended up finishing 114th in the country in penalties per game.

Maybe, linebacker Jon Bostic said, the solution is for the players to start doing a much better job of policing each other when it comes to breaking rules.

"It comes down to us," Bostic said. "If we say we want to be a team and be at a certain place where we want to be, it’s going to step back on the offensive leaders and defense to really say, 'Hey, we’ve got to stop this.'

"We have to hold each and every person accountable out there. Hey, we can’t jump offsides. We don’t need the pass interferences. We don’t need the blocking in the back on special teams."

No FBS team in the country committed more penalties than Florida did against Bowling Green. Syracuse came close (12 penalties), and five other teams committed 11. Among those was Tulane, which lost a nation-worst 120 yards to the yellow flags.

Ten of UF’s 14 penalties would fall under Muschamp’s category of discipline penalties: false start, illegal block, offside, delay of game and a substitution infraction. Those are the ones that should be easily correctable, receiver Frankie Hammond said.

"It’s just fixing the details," Hammond said. "We look back on it, it’s just minor things. Just offsides, maybe minor holding penalties or whatever it may be, but it’s minor things that we can fix.

"We just have to go back and clean stuff up."

Bostic said the Gators’ 10 first-half penalties against Bowling Green were more a result of the players being a little too excited about finally playing in the season opener. UF settled down in the second half and committed only four penalties, two of which were delay-of-game penalties in the final minute.

"It’s good to go in there excited, high energy, but at the same time you have to control it and play how we should be able to play," Bostic said.

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who was penalized six times for being offside last season, said he’s not bothered by the large number of penalties.

"I'm not concerned at all," said Easley, who was not flagged Saturday. "You live and you learn. We lived it. Now we've got to learn from it."

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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