Coming off a performance like Oklahoma had Saturday night against Ohio State, not sure anybody could have predicted what coach Bob Stoops decided Monday morning.
No practice. Yep, no practice. The team watched film but didn’t actually step onto the field as OU is in the midst of its first bye week.
How surprising was that? Junior Jonathan Alvarez had never heard of it before and was definitely worried about what sort of message was being sent.
“Honestly, I didn’t really expect it,” Alvarez said. “I thought we were in trouble. That’s never happened to me since I’ve been here. Other than that, it was good. It gives you a day to get everyone into their playbooks and everyone into film and just study up.”
No, the Sooner players were not in trouble or anything of that nature. If anybody watched the Buckeyes in their dominant 45-24 victory at Owen Field, you saw them take a toll on OU on the scoreboard and in the physicality department.
Obviously the easy one to see is Cody Ford as the redshirt freshman offensive guard broke his leg in the first half, but there were a lot of other pains and bruises suffered along the way.
Alvarez was shocked about the rare non-physical day, but quarterback Baker Mayfield wasn’t and almost sort of saw it as a very good thing for OU at this moment.
“No, we had quite a bit of guys banged up,” Mayfield said. “We didn’t exactly have it all the way off. We still met and did our meetings. We just didn’t have practice, which it’s good to give your body a break every once in a while. So it was good for us.”
OU was back at practice Tuesday with the goal of winning the Big 12 championship still in mind. Linebacker Jordan Evans said it was good to get a day to regroup and move forward. Yea, there will be no trip to the college football playoff, but the Sooners can turn it around like last year and make a run at another conference crown.
For that reason, offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is excited to get back out there as soon as possible.
“Deep down I wish we were playing just because you’re so hungry to get back out there and go play,” Riley said. “But we’re a little banged up and probably more banged up than we were at this point last year. That’ll help. We’re going to take advantage of it.”