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September 2, 2008
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.
Georgia ran 59 plays in its 45-21 win over Georgia Southern. Last year, the Bulldogs averaged 67 plays.
Maryland ran 66 plays in a 14-7 win over Delaware. The Terps averaged 60.4 last season.
"I'm glad we have the new rule."
THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE: Dienhart's Week 1 Awards
TOM'S TOP 13
2. Ohio State
11. Texas Tech
ON THE HOT SEAT
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.
ONE MAN'S WORKING HEISMAN BALLOT
1. Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
2. Pat White, QB, West Virginia
3. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Wish I were him: Nick Saban, Alabama
Glad I'm not him: Tommy Bowden, Clemson
Lucky, lucky: Bobby Petrino, Arkansas
Unlucky, unlucky: Mike Riley, Oregon State
Desperately seeking a clue: Dave Wannstedt, Pitt
Desperately seeking a P.R. man: Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
Desperately seeking sunglasses and a fake beard: Mike Sherman, Texas A&M
Desperately seeking ... anything: Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
Tom Dienhart is a national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.