The Norman Transcript


March 25, 2010

Practice isn’t a bed of roses

Norman — College football teams are allowed 15 practices each spring. Oklahoma’s theme for the one month period is to pack as much into those workouts as possible.

After four practices, that seems to be the case.

“We’re constantly on the field. Everyone is doing something all the time because there’s so many reps,” cornerback Demontre Hurst said following Wednesday’s practice. “It feels like it’s going to be 25 or 30 practices. It’s tiring.”

It’s not that amount of time on field that has changed for the Sooners. It’s how they are doing things.

This spring, OU has divided the squad into two units and split the field in half at the 50-yard line or sent units to a separate practice field. One unit works on one side, while other does the same.

It’s something Sooner coach Bob Stoops picked up last spring during a visit with Alabama’s coaching staff. It seemed to work pretty well for the Crimson Tide, who won a national championship last season.

“We coaches get together here and there, share ideas and usually there are always different ways of looking at things and seeing things through someone else’s eyes and that is what coaches do to a degree, “ Stoops said. “So it just depends on who it is.”

Stoops brought this one back from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Meanwhile, Boise State coach Chris Peterson will visit a couple of Sooner practices next week to pick up some ideas.

One he might pick up on is the split-field practice philosophy. Players admit the first four practices have been a shock to the system, but that’s because down time has pretty much been eliminated.

“Coaches don’t want to see guys standing around. No more second team waiting around for the first team to get done,” running back Mossis Madu said. “It’s a thing where everyone is doing something all the time.”

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