War Eagle Extra

Gus Malzahn says problems with penalties 'starts with me'

AUBURN, Ala. — Penalties have been a problem for Auburn all season.

The numbers tell the story.

The Tigers rank last in the Southeastern Conference in total penalty yards (602) and penalty yards per game (66.9). Auburn's futility with flags came to a head in the win against Ole Miss earlier this month. The Tigers were penalized 13 times for 145 yards, the most flags they had incurred in one game since committing 15 versus Florida in 2002. Auburn was right at its average last week, with eight penalties for 65 yards in a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M.

It's an issue that frustrates Gus Malzahn to no end. If the Tigers wanted, they could have officials come in during practice to try to help solve the self-afflicted setbacks. While Malzahn declined to say if the team would do that — or if they have had officials at practice all along — he was willing to be candid about the matter in another way.

All fault lies with him.

"We've got to do a better job with that. That starts with me," the coach said in a post-practice interview Wednesday night. "We've got to be more disciplined. We've got to be more accountable. We're working hard to do that."