It is no secret that college football games take too long. Three-and-a-half-hour games seem all too common. Northwestern's victory at Purdue last week took a snail-like 3 hours, 47 minutes from kickoff to the final 0:00 on the clock.

The Pac-12 wants to do something about it, and has announced that it is designating 30 games this season with shorter halftimes – 15 minutes instead of 20 – and restructured commercial breaks. In 15 games with these new measures last season, the conference said the average length of games dropped from 3:19 to 3:14, with eight contests coming in shorter than 3:14.

Like many of us, Stanford coach David Shaw dislikes all the commercials.

"That's the hard part for me," he told the Associated Press. "You have three or four stoppages in the first quarter for commercial breaks and TV timeouts. Those make the game take longer than the actual game."

The NCAA has taken some small measures to try to shorten games, such as setting the play clock at 40 seconds immediately after a touchdown to expedite the conversion try, and again at 40 after a kickoff so play can restart more quickly.

Blue about the Blue

Former Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards, an analyst for the Big Ten Network, has apologized for singling out Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson and another player for criticism on Twitter during Saturday night's loss at Notre Dame.

In an interview with the Detroit News, Edwards admitted he was "excessive and emotional and inebriated" when he tweeted criticism of the players and the program. He also said it was a mistake to single out Patterson and center Cesar Ruiz, a native of Pennsauken.

But he added, "The focus of my tweets remain intact. I stand by that."

The tweet by Michigan's all-time leading receiver stated, "Ruiz is weak, line is weak, Shea is scared, [expletive] Michigan offense is so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash." Edwards was suspended indefinitely for the tweet.

Not a fake

His team lost, 24-3, to Virginia Tech, but first-year Florida State coach Willie Taggert felt that the Hokies faked injuries whenever the Seminoles had a long gain.

"I guess it's part of football now," Taggert said. "That's all I can say."

Asked if he felt the strategy was intentional, he replied, "I mean, it is what it is. It happened too often."

Hokies coach Justin Fuente said some of his players struggled with the high humidity in Tallahassee and "numerous guys" received IV treatments at halftime.

As for whether they faked injury, Fuente said, "We had numerous issues with cramping and guys battling through bumps and bruises and nicks and things that they were fighting through."

Georgia quarterback Justin Fields passes against Austin Peay.
Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia quarterback Justin Fields passes against Austin Peay.

The Fields era

The oral commitment that five-star dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields gave to Penn State when he was a high school junior lasted only seven months before Fields flipped to Georgia in 2017.

Fields made his college debut with the Bulldogs on Saturday against Austin Peay in the season opener, taking the field on his team's first possession of the second quarter and starting the second half. He completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, and ran three times for 33 yards while sharing time with Jake Fromm.

The Bulldogs' next opponent, South Carolina, is a more formidable challenge. Coach Kirby Smart said he can't guarantee how much playing time Fields will get.

"It's just a situation where there's no plan," Smart said. "We've got to go with how things go and how the flow of the game goes. I thought he did a good job Saturday in the game, handled things well, but I don't know what this game is going to dictate. So we'll see."

Changing sides

In the two seasons that Chris Ash was co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State, the Buckeyes defeated Rutgers twice by a combined score of 105-24. Then Ash took the head-coaching job with the Scarlet Knights, and his team hasn't scored in its last two meetings with Ohio State, losing by 58-0 and 56-0.

Things don't look any more promising for Saturday's game at Columbus. The Buckeyes put up 77 points and gained 721 yards in their season debut without suspended coach Urban Meyer. The Knights, however, are going to show up.

"Rutgers and Ohio State have played in four years and hasn't been much of a game," Ash said. "So it's our job to go there and try to play the best we can play, and play better than what we've played, especially in the last couple of years."

Expatriate of the week

St. Joseph's Prep graduate Olamide Zaccheaus picked up right where he left off last season for Virginia. The senior wide receiver, who set a program record in 2017 with 85 receptions, good for 895 yards and five touchdowns, opened the new year with six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against Richmond. Zaccheaus' career numbers are 163 receptions for 1,796 yards and 14 TDs.

Games of the week

UCLA at Oklahoma, 1 p.m., Fox29: Like any other head coach watching a season opener, Chip Kelly wasn't happy with missed tackles in the Bruins' loss to Cincinnati. The Bruins are going to have to tackle a lot better against the sixth-ranked Sooners and find a way to contain quarterback Kyler Murray.

Georgia at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m., CBS3: Behind four TD passes from Jake Bentley, the Gamecocks rolled up 557 yards and 49 points last week against Coastal Carolina. But the Bulldogs are a much different, uh, animal, with Jake Fromm at the controls and D'Andre Swift leading a deep running-back group.

Clemson at Texas A&M, 7 p.m., ESPN: The Tigers appeared comfortable last week with both Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence sharing snaps at quarterback. The game is a big opportunity for the Aggies and Jimbo Fisher, who gets a chance right away to impress the A&M faithful.

Southern California at Stanford, 8:30 p.m., Fox29: Will the Trojans load up at the line to stop Heisman Trophy front-runner Bryce Love? Love rushed for just 29 yards last week against San Diego State. USC freshman J.T. Daniels passed for 282 yards in his debut but said his timing needs to improve.

Michigan State at Arizona State, 10:45 p.m., ESPN: The Sun Devils put up 49 points on UTSA last week in their first game under new head coach Herm Edwards, but it's going to be more difficult to score on the Spartans, especially after they yielded 31 points in a narrow victory over Utah State.

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throwing a pass against Oregon State.
Jay LaPrete / AP
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throwing a pass against Oregon State.

Star watch

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, QB, 6-3, 220, Soph., Potomac, Md.

Haskins, the successor to four-year starter J.T. Barrett, had an impressive first start last week, passing for 313 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters to lead the Buckeyes to a 77-31 win over Oregon State. Haskins impressed in 2017 in the regular season-ending game against Michigan, coming in midway through the third quarter and bringing the Buckeyes back from a 20-14 deficit with 216 yards of offense and 17 unanswered points in a 31-20 win.