FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas had 14 penalties and two turnovers against BYU and still amazingly had a chance to win the game at the end.
BYU took a 38-31 win over the Hogs after the 125 yards in penalties. On Monday, Sam Pittman addressed the penalties.
“It’s hard to win any game when you have 14 penalties,” Pittman said. “Obviously, I don’t know if I’m going to get fined, I obviously didn’t agree with all the calls and all that kind of stuff. Several of them. Hence, the problem. We had too many missed assignments, and we had too many penalties to beat a good football team. We have to figure out how to get the penalty situation…
“You’re going to have some missed assignments in a game. I thought we had more than what we should have. But it’s the penalties that are killing drives and keeping drives alive and things of that nature. We just have to get it corrected. To answer your question, we played extremely hard. The crowd was unbelievable. But, in a nutshell, if we took half the penalties away I think we would have won the game.”
One of the questionable penalties came in the first quarter. KJ Jefferson passed to freshman tight end Luke Hasz for a big gain. However, the Big 12 officials called offensive pass interferenc on what appeared, at most, to be incidental contact. The call pushed the Hogs back to a third-and-24 play at their own 42. Was it just incidental contact?
“It sure was,” Pittman said.
If no penalty Arkansas has either a first down or fourth and short.
“We wouldn’t have had third and 20-something,” Pittman said.
Jefferson also appeared to get speared on a run just before halftime, but no flag.
“You said it,” Pittman said. “I mean, I’m going to get fined guys. I appreciate the question.”
Can you get fined for commenting on officials outside the SEC?
“I don’t have any idea,” Pittman said. “I don’t know. I don’t want to chance it. … But yeah, I mean … Yeah.”
Another strange call came when Dwight McGlothern forced a fumble that Hudson Clark fell on it with 1:34 remaining in the first half and the game tied at 21. The officials hit Arkansas with an unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed ball back to the BYU 41.
“They said our kids were trying to go into the stands,” Pittmans said. “And so … I don’t know if they were. They told them not to jump in the stands. … he’s mumbling … That’s what they told me.”
Arkansas and LSU will kickoff at 6 p.m. Saturday night in Baton Rouge and televised on ESPN.