Alabama Interim Coach Joe Kines said, "When we get to Shreveport we won't do anything but polish up. It'll be too late to build a ship when we get there. It has to be able to float by then."
The Tide will have a brief Friday morning workout concentrating on special teams. "We'll kick for a long time, then try to wrap it up and but a bow on it," Kines said. "The players have worked hard. They've done what we asked of them. Now they are looking forward to a little break, and they've earned it."
Following Bama's practice Friday morning, the players will be released. They will make their own way to Shreveport, arriving Christmas eve. Practice will resume Monday, Christmas Day.
Alabama will meet Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl Stadium at 3:30 p.m. CST Thursday, December 28. The game will be telecast by ESPN. Both teams have 6-6 records going into the game, the first football meeting between Bama and the Cowboys.
"This was kind of the finale, but we still have a few things to do," Kines said following Thursday's practice. "We did some important things today, goalline offense and short yardage drills. The offense was really sharp, about as fine as we have had this month. I was really proud of them."
Kines pointed out that the practice schedule has been something along the lines of regular season practices, broken up into three-day segments. "I think it has kept the players in the rhythm of a game week," Kines said. "I think the guys have a good feeling."
He added there has been a lot of work watching tape. "Playing against an option offense puts you in a different mode," he said. "The guys have to be in the right place and they have worked hard at that."
Kines said that Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid presents problems most quarterbacks don't in that he and excellent runner who "has a cannon for an arm. Most quarterbacks go out on the corner and you usually know what's coming, but he can throw it or if he sees grass he can run it a long way. They do a good job with him. Their staff has done an excellent job with a young team. And that's the only trouble they've had, their youth."
Kines also said that back-up quarterback Jimmy Barnes, who suffered a knee injury in early bowl practice work, had undergone surgery and was in rehabilitation.