Thursday kick not a big deal

Doesn't happen often, but OU is ready to play for its rare Thursday game. It's nothing out of the ordinary for the Sooners.

The routine has definitely been different for Oklahoma this week. Players practicing on Saturday and Sunday when they didn't have school.

In order to treat this week like a regular game week, that was what was decided by OU coach Bob Stoops. The 10th-ranked Sooners are at No. 6 Baylor at 6:30 p.m. CST on Thursday.

"The practice schedule is weird," offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "I walked in the house last night (Saturday) thinking it was Monday. I think our guys are ready because they've had more time on Saturday and Sunday."

The schedule might be weird, but the preparation hasn't been thrown off. Most view the Thursday game as a huge opportunity. Another national spotlight stage to show everybody exactly what OU football is all about.

The Sooners and Bears aren't the only game in town, but they're close to it. No. 3 Oregon plays No. 5 Stanford later in the night. But for the first half, at least, all eyes will be locked in on if the OU defense can slow down Baylor's offense.

"It's strange because I keep thinking it's Tuesday and then I get home and there's all these NFL games on," senior offensive guard Bronson Irwin said. "I kind of like it. It's something different and kind of mixing it up a little bit. I think everyone is enjoying it."

History shows OU has enjoyed Thursday tilts. Not involved in too many, the Sooners are 3-0 in Stoops' tenure when playing Thursday.

OU is coming in a 14-point underdog, but the players said that doesn't matter. OU is 21-1 overall against Baylor although the only defeat came in the Sooners' last trip to Waco, Texas, in 2011.

Stoops said he knows it's going to be a big challenge for the team, but he's excited about playing Thursday.

"Heck yeah. Can't wait," he said.

But when asked if he'd want one next year, "Ask me on Friday."


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