No Day Off For Sooners Sunday

Sunday, September 16th 2007, 8:56 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Normally, Malcolm Kelly would have been at home watching his Dallas Cowboys. Allen Patrick would have been lounging at home watching the NFL too.

Instead, all of Oklahoma's players and coaches were at the football complex Sunday getting a jump on a short week of preparation that will culminate with a rare Friday night game at Tulsa (2-0).

``We just operate today like today is Monday, and this is kind of how we'll go through the week,'' coach Bob Stoops said after the Sooners wrapped up their workout Sunday evening.

The made-for-television matchup has fourth-ranked Oklahoma (3-0) playing on a Friday night for only the second time since Big 12 play started in 1996 and the first time since the 2002 season opener was also played at Tulsa. Before that, the Sooners' last Friday game was the last of a series of day-after-Thanksgiving games against Big Eight foe Nebraska in the 1995 regular-season finale.

That meant current players were out of their normal Monday-through-Saturday routine for the first time. For many players, the only reason they'd be at the football facility on a Sunday would be to get treatment for an injury.

Without the players around, co-offensive coordinator James Patton said the coaching staff would usually be watching film and developing the game plan on a Sunday night. Instead, they got started earlier in the day.

``We're going to do whatever it takes to be ready and be a day ahead,'' Patton said.

Stoops said the Sooners had ``our standard practice for Monday'' and didn't take it easy on players just because it was the day after a game. It helped that the game was Oklahoma's third straight blowout _ a 54-3 win against Utah State _ and most players didn't have to play all four quarters. Many starters were lifted in the third quarter.

``It's different. We ain't never done this before, and it's the first time I ever did it but we feel good,'' Patrick said. ``Everybody was moving around pretty well.''

Kelly said it might have been nice to have the extra time to heal bumps and bruises, but it was hard to harbor those thoughts for too long.

``I kind of got out of it once we got out there and heard the whistle,'' Kelly said. ``You kind of got out of it pretty fast.''

The real light at the end of the tunnel will come only after 12 straight days of workouts, film study and games.

``We haven't got a day off,'' Kelly said. ``It'll be good to get Saturday off, and now you can just sit back and watch everybody else play.''