Bye Week Came at Beneficial Spot

NORMAN, Okla. — When an idle week is slated on the schedule, it can go each of two ways: either it breaks up the rhythm of a season or it allows a team welcome time off and essential preparation for an upcoming opponent.

For the Sooners, this one was the latter and came at the perfect time.

That's because they are now fresh, well-prepared and set to take their No. 1 ranking on the road to Tallahassee, Fla., to battle it out with the fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles.

"I prefer it, since that's what we have, so of course," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "But, you know, we got a lot to work on, and it just gives you the extra time for them. So, I think it will help."

Quarterback Landry Jones concurred.

"I think it's nice to get an extra week of preparation," Jones said. "So, I think just having that extra week of preparation, you can't just go into practice like you're going to play a game the next day, but you have to get prepared to play a game and just having that extra week is pretty big for us."

Offensively, it allows the Sooners to get their timing and flow down to an art as well as refining any issues from the first game before a pivotal contest.

"Just focusing on our technique, looking at the mistakes we made against Tulsa from an offensive line standpoint and just knowing where we can correct those [is how it helps us]," said center Ben Habern. "We can get better at ID-ing, making, you know, more verbal calls I guess. And so we just want to improve on that and improve on our technique and our leverage and all that kind of stuff."

Defensively, OU has the opportunity to completely break down the Florida State offense.

"Route running, you know, speed of the receivers, how they come off their breaks, what the quarterback looks at, it does give you, you know, a little advantage," said boundary corner Jamell Fleming.

And on both sides of the ball, it has its similar advantages.

"I feel like you remember a lot more," said wide receiver Kenny Stills. "In one week, you get to see it., you get to talk about it. But in two weeks, you know, you not only see it and talk about it, but it's in your brain and you're going to remember it. And when you get to the field, you can just react."

While the Sooners will have had a full 14 days to prepare for FSU, the Seminoles played last week and, although they probably did some preparation for OU, in theory they won't know quite as many of the ins and outs of the visitor's offense.

From that stand point, OU has to like its bye week and its chances coming out of it.

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