Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has no complaints about the new 40-second play clock. And that was the case for most coaches during the first run of the new rule during the opening weekend.
Grobe's Demon Deacons got off 80 plays in a 41-13 victory at Baylor on Thursday night. That's about the same number Wake averaged last season.
"I thought there was a good flow to the game," Grobe said. "We knew what to expect and that wasn't always the case in the past. Sometimes, it may take us a series or two to get used to how an officiating crew would mark the
ball and start the game clock."
No new rules change implemented for this season caused as much talk as the 40-second clock. You'll recall the college game altered the play clock in 2006 in an attempt to speed up games. It worked, as the average time of
games went from 3:21 to 3:07. But the quicker system cut around 13 plays from each game. Fewer plays potentially may mean fewer points, which some feel would make for a less exciting brand of football.
Last season, the play clock reverted to 2005 standards, which featured a 25-second play clock that started at the discretion of the officials. The result was more plays -- and also longer games, as the average time moved back
up to 3:22. But this fall, the college game altered the play clock again, this time adopting a system similar to the NFL.
"Several schools have switched to a no-huddle offense in response to the new rule," former Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "I don't know if that's necessary. NFL teams don't go no-huddle all the time, and they are
able to get plays off in time. We always felt if you break the huddle with 16 seconds on the play clock, we'd be OK."
Based on a random sample of "Big Six" programs, the new rule had minimal impact on the number of plays schools were able to run in the opening weekend. Even more telling: None of the coaches from the schools I surveyed
was asked about the new play clock in the postgame news conference.
Oklahoma ran 84 plays in a 57-2 win over Chattanooga after averaging 70 in 2007.
Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe:
Kragthorpe is a class act and terrific coach. But a 27-2 home loss to Kentucky was no way to start the season after a 6-6 first run in Louisville.
The Cardinals generated a paltry 205 yards of offense and had five turnovers.
But Kragthorpe has been cleaning up the Louisville roster in an attempt to develop better chemistry and character. He's too good of a coach not to get the program back on track. Be patient, Cardinals fans: Kragthorpe will get it done.
GAMES Play this again: Missouri 52, Illinois 42
Never play this again: Oklahoma 57, Chattanooga 2
What?: East Carolina 27, Virginia Tech 22
Huh?: Arkansas State 18, Texas A&M 14
You're kidding me: Bowling Green 27, Pitt 17
Told you so: Alabama 34, Clemson 10
THIS WEEK Ticket to die for: Miami at Florida
Best non-Big Six tilt: Houston at Oklahoma State
Upset alert: East Carolina over West Virginia in Greenville, N.C.
Must win: Pitt over Buffalo in Pittsburgh
Great game no one is talking about: UConn at Temple
Intriguing coaching matchup: Cincinnati's Brian Kelly vs. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops Who's bringing the body bags?: Southeast Missouri State at Missouri
Why are they playing?: Northern Colorado at Purdue
Plenty of good seats remaining: Northwestern at Duke
They shoot horses, don't they?: Utah State at Oregon