Time of games are speeding up

ATHENS – In the NCAA rulebook, they are innocuously labeled Rule 3-2-5 and 3-2-5e. In Mark Richt's mind, they are an affront to football.

Both new rules affect the keeping of the clock and are an attempt to shorten college games. Starting this year, the game clock will start as soon as the ball is kicked on kickoffs rather than when it is touched by the receiving team, and the clock will start after every change of possession when the ball is marked ready instead of when it is snapped.

"They keep saying, ‘They say they want a shorter game.' I don't know they is really," Richt said. "I think it's because there are defensive coaches on the (rules) committee. They like games to be short, and they like to break records for defense."

Richt already is worried about explaining why his offense is not scoring as many points, he said.

"I think you'll hear more complaints when the games get shorter and the teams don't score as many points," he said.

Most coaches estimate between 10 and 14 plays per game will be lost, although some have suggested it could as many as 20. If both teams are determined to drain seconds off the clock, eight minutes of game time could be lost, Richt thinks.

"That's actual playing time, the excitement that the fans love is going to be gone," he said. "Hopefully, we'll change that thing back after one season."

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