Thursday Night Game Presents Unique Situation For Oklahoma - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Thursday Night Game Presents Unique Situation For Oklahoma

Posted: Updated:
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Historically, Thursday nights in college football have been reserved for the lesser programs of the sport; the good, not the great; the Big East and ACC, not the Big 12 and SEC.

However, thanks to new television contracts, the Big 12 finds itself playing several Thursday night games each year going forward. In the 2014 season, there will be three conference games played on Thursday nights, with the possibility of a fourth.

So far this season, the conference has participated in three Thursday night games—Texas Tech vs. TCU, Tulsa vs. Iowa State and Iowa State vs. Texas. Texas and Texas Tech will face off on Thanksgiving night, but the biggest game will take place this week when No. 10 Oklahoma travels to Waco to take on No. 6 Baylor.

Surprisingly, the Sooners have played 47 regular season games on Thursday nights, but have only played one since Bob Stoops became head coach in 1999, a Thursday night tilt at Tulsa in 2007.

Playing on a Thursday night obviously changes the normal game week preparations the Sooners have, but thanks to a bye week between this week's game and OU's last game against Texas Tech, the coaching staff was able to be flexible, giving the players Thursday and Friday off before beginning normal game week preparations on Saturday.

"It's weird," defensive end Geneo Grissom said after the normal Monday practice on Saturday. "It doesn't feel like Saturday today, but you have to do what you have to do. We're going to be ready for Thursday."

The change in schedule hasn't been a completely bad thing for the Sooners. OU has been able to get in an extra three days of practice for easily its most difficult opponent of the year, along with lots of extra film study.

"It helps out a lot because with all this extra time, you get to sit at home and pop in a football tape of Baylor's offense to watch every game they've played all year," defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue said. "Your body is resting but your mind is working.

"We all have ways to watch film when we don't have to come up here. We just stay at home, put on film and sit back and watch it and relax."

For the most part, the players seem to be in favor of the change.

"It's different, but I think it's going to be fun," quarterback Blake Bell said. "It's a primetime game at night so it's going to be fun."

However, not everyone on the team is thrilled to be playing on a Thursday night instead of Saturday.

"I'm not too excited about that," safety Gabe Lynn said. "As long as I get to play, I appreciate every opportunity I get to play, so I'm happy about that.

"I'm not really a routine guy. I just go out there and play."

One of the biggest reasons why some players may be opposed to the change in time is personal habit. No matter how the coaching staff structures the practice schedule to imitate a regular game week, some routines are just going to be thrown off.

"It just messes up your rituals," running back Damien Williams said. "You do certain things on certain days normally, but you have to just go with the flow and get ready."

In the end, the quality of the opponent and the magnitude of the game itself are what the Sooners are choosing to focus on instead of the uniqueness of the situation.

"This is what you came here for, big games like this," Ndulue said. "Going to a powerhouse and try to beat them when no one is giving you a chance, just trying to knock them off the top. Yeah we thrive on this; it's exciting and it's a challenge."

Thursday night is setting up to be the most exciting Thursday night in college football history, with the Sooners and Bears facing off, as well as a top-five matchup between Stanford and Oregon later in the evening. It's strange for the Sooners to be playing during the week, but it's also strange for the Bears to be ranked No. 6 and favored by 14 points.

Despite the differences and unfamiliarity of the situation, Thursday night in Waco should be an incredible atmosphere for college football.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

More Sports

  • OSU Cowboys

    Get all your OSU Cowboys information from sports highlights to the latest news & videos.

  • OKC Thunder

    Thunder Up! Get the latest sports news, game highlights, videos and updates on the team.

  • TU Golden Hurricane

    Follow the TU Golden Hurricane! Get sports scores, news and highlights.

  • ORU Golden Eagles

    ORU Golden Eagles fans can find the latest news on the team, scores and video here!

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.