NORMAN — Additional time to heal injuries and an extra week to prepare for the next opponent are the biggest advantages to having a bye week.
Since No. 1-ranked Oklahoma has played only one game, extra film time is the biggest benefit for the Sooners, who will play a high stakes game against No. 5 Florida State next Saturday night in Tallahassee.
But how much of an advantage is it?
More film time provides more insight and more retention.
“It's like having extra time to prepare for a test,” said cornerback Aaron Colvin. “You can get into a little more detail that you might not have gotten in if you only had one week to prepare. Two weeks, you can see their favorite personnel, their favorite plays.”
In the modern era, players and coaches have the luxury of watching an opponent's tendencies. You don't have to rewind tape to see a specific formation or substitution patterns.
Called cut ups, an opponent's tendencies are broken down by specific areas like blitz packages, four wide receiver sets or blocking schemes.
An OU defensive player might choose to spend one day focusing on what Florida State runs on third-and-short; the ratio of run and pass on first down; or the Seminoles' favorite red-zone plays.
Offensive players can study defensive line substitution patterns or how often Florida State blitzes. And who blitzes, the linebacker, cornerback or safety.
“Every team, including us, has tendencies when it comes to how the (defensive) lines up or how the 'backers line up,” said guard Gabe Ikard. “The more you study the better prepared you're going to be. We just have to take advantage of the week that we have.”
Most film study is at the team's facility. There are offensive, defensive and special teams meetings. Additional film sessions are broken down by position.
But players don't have to be on campus to watch tape. Cut-ups are placed on discs. Players can watch film at their dorm or apartment.