Way back when, I used to post about Matt Hinton’s data that penalties had relatively little to do with a team’s wins and losses, so on one level, that Georgia is among the worst in the conference when it comes to penalties doesn’t really bother me much.
Heading into its sixth game of the year, Georgia has 37 penalties — tied for third-worst mark in the conference. The Bulldogs average 7.4 penalties per game, which is tied for second worst in the SEC.
When you decided to emphasize havoc, your defense is going to be more aggressive and that’s probably going to result in more penalties. It’s a transactional cost, to some extent, and it’s one you can live with if the overall scheme pays off with better defense.
But I also get Kirby’s point about playing with discipline.
“Some of [the penalties] were undisciplined and you can’t do them,” Smart said. “They probably cost us a drive and it cost us a touchdown … Those are critical, critical errors. That hasn’t been a trait that we’ve had, is undisciplined penalties, and we’ve got to prevent those.’’
David Marshall’s personal foul in the Tennessee game wasn’t the result of aggressively pursuing havoc. It was simply knuckleheaded.
The trick is getting the players to know the difference between the two and play accordingly.