Sooner line getting healthy
OU's Gabe Ikard
It’s a group that has played battered and bruised for a good part of this season. While they will be without tackle Daryl Williams, the two week hiatus has been nothing but a plus for OU’s offensive line.
"I'm proud of the whole offensive line's attitude,” said Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops. “Gabe Ikard, the captain up there is really the leader of that group. To fight through the injuries like they did, they kept hanging in there. When one guy got hurt, another was just getting healthy enough to come back and play. It was a challenge but they did a great job of just fighting through it.
"More than anything, the players had the last week of school and then finals. We gave them the entire time off other than to check in with Coach Schmidt and get three lifts in a week. Those are roughly 45 minutes, just to keep up their training. It was good for them to get off the field.”
The Sooners returned to the practice field just shortly after finals and Stoops says he has seen a much healthier group of linemen.
"We feel really good,” said Stoops. “Much cleaner, much healthier, much fresher. But, I don't feel like we needed a break there in the last two or three weeks. I just feel that once you are towards the end of the season, just keep playing. You're in a rhythm so just keep playing."
"That late [bye] week isn’t going to get you much healthier anyway because you still have to practice. You don't want to give them the whole week off like we just did because you lose all your timing and since of rhythm.
"The nice part here at the end was we didn't have to do anything for two weeks. You have a better chance of healing up than if you are practicing the whole time."