OU finding groove with so many early kickoffs

OU has had a lot of 11 a.m. kicks in the last two seasons, which has helped Sooners develop a rhythm at that time.

There were a lot of groans a couple of weeks ago when it was announced Oklahoma’s game against West Virginia was scheduled for an 11 a.m. CST kick.

With good reason, too. OU was striping the stadium, and the posters suggested a national primetime audience for what turned out to be a battle between two ranked teams.

It was the second consecutive home game at 11 a.m., which makes things difficult across the board. Vendors can’t sell as much or get as many customers because not as many people are tailgating.

Saw the effect with recruiting as not all scheduled official visitors were able to make it in Norman because they couldn’t get to OU in time for the game.

The atmosphere can be lacking as you sort of have to bring your own energy, which isn’t always easy to do.

It’s understandable, it’s not ideal. But if you do it enough, perhaps you can find the positive in it. Perhaps you can start to find a rhythm. You get into a routine of how to prepare and you know what you need to do.

OU’s Red River Showdown with Texas has traditionally been an 11 a.m. CST kick so no shock there. The last time it wasn’t 11 a.m. was back in 2010. It will mark OU’s third straight overall game at the time so they know what to expect.

“We did it a lot last year, too,” senior center Ty Darlington said. “You can get into a rhythm. It’s not something anybody prefers. There is the positive of you get to get up and do it now. You get to get at it fast.”

Energy at the Cotton Bowl shouldn’t be a problem although it will be interesting to see how OU tries to go about getting an edge vs. the Longhorns since everybody is expecting the Sooners to walk all over Texas in this year’s edition.

Maybe the incentive is an easy one – getting to go to the Texas State Fair. If OU loses the game, it’s back on the bus and back to Norman. Win, and you get some time at the fair.

Media members like to point out that an early kick means the night is free. Players don’t argue with that logic, either.

“I kind of like it because it gives you some time after in the afternoon like when I have family in town,” senior offensive lineman Derek Farniok said. “It gets me some extra time with them since I don’t see them that much. I kind of prefer the morning.”

OU’s kick at Kansas State has already been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST next week, and you have to figure there’s no way OU gets a third consecutive home game at 11 a.m. with Texas Tech coming to Norman in two weeks.

The Sooners are planning another big visit weekend when the Raiders come to town so it will be interesting when the game is officially scheduled.

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