The Norman Transcript

October 29, 2013

Sooners have long layoff before Thursday game in Waco

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — College football players live regimented lives. The regiment is about to change for Oklahoma. Next up is its first non-Saturday regular-season game since 2007 when it faces No. 5 Baylor on Nov. 7 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Playing on Thursday does throw the regiment for a loop.

“That’s gonna be weird. None of us have ever done it,” OU center Gabe Ikard said.

OU doesn’t have a game Saturday, so rest won’t be an issue. OU coach Bob Stoops said the team will hold practices through Wednesday like it normally does. The team will get Thursday and Friday off.

But OU will enter full game-week preparations with practices on Saturday and Sunday. Typically, OU’s playing or off on Saturday. Sunday is usually a day off.

“That will be a little bit unorthodox for us. We’re gonna treat it as another game week, which it is,” running back Brennan Clay said. “We’re gonna go out and prepare and be fun to play Thursday night.”

Playing at least one weeknight game per season is quickly becoming the norm in the Big 12. Only Oklahoma State and Kansas are playing strictly on Saturdays this season.

Some players welcome the Thursday night experience. Others do not.

“I’m not too excited about that,” safety Gabe Lynn said of playing on a Thursday, “but as long as I get to play, I appreciate every opportunity I get to play on the field, so I’m just happy about that.”

Injury update: Besides losing fullback Trey Millard, OU coach Bob Stoops said OU emerged from the Texas Tech game relatively healthy.

Linebacker Frank Shannon left the game in the first quarter with what the training staff thought was a spleen injury, but it turned out to be less serious.

“The last I'd heard was a deep tissue bruise,” Stoops said. “He should be OK today or tomorrow, hopefully, if nothing's changed.”

Wide receiver Jaz Reynolds did not suit up due to an injury he suffered last Thursday. Stoops expected him to practice on Monday.

Franks moves back to receiver: Junior Trey Franks has been a safety the last two seasons, but he was shifted back to wide receiver last week.

“We just feel Trey wasn’t in a position to do as much defensively now, and some of those young players have come along that we feel there’s more opportunity for him to contribute out there at the receiver position,” Stoops said, “and so hopefully we’ll be able to get him more and more work.”

Franks played in all eight games this season, but primarily on special teams. He made six starts from 2010-11 as a wide receiver. He was suspended for the 2012 season.

Colvin makes Thorpe cut: The Jim Thorpe Association announced Monday that OU cornerback Aaron Colvin is one 15 semifinalists for the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, given to college football’s top defensive back.

Colvin ranks fourth on the squad with 39 tackles (30 solo). He is third on the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and also has an interception, a sack, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups. The Owasso native was an All-Big 12 first-team selection by Associated Press and the coaches in 2012 after leading the team with 11 pass breakups.

The Thorpe Award is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. The three Thorpe Award finalists will be named on Nov. 25, and the winner will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12 airing on ESPN. The winner of the 2013 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 4.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com