NORMAN — Oklahoma defensive end R.J. Washington raised his right eyebrow at the question.
Were we crazy? What is he going to do all day Saturday while the Sooners wait to play UTEP?
Get ready for to play football, that's what.
“What do you mean ‘to pass all that time'?” Washington said. “We'll be in meetings all day. It's not like we're just sitting in the hotel. You're not. You've got meetings, probably some more meetings, some walk-through, some more meetings.”
Saturday won't be a typical opening day for OU football fans or players. A 9:30 p.m. Central kickoff on the road is anything but typical for OU.
That's bedtime for some of the Sooners. Just check their Twitter feeds.
By that time, fans will have been able to watch at least three full football games and fire up their grill several times for meals.
So what do players, coaches and staff do with such a late kickoff?
According to the players, it's business as usual. But there are a couple inevitable changes.
The Sooners will arrive in El Paso on Friday night and stay in a hotel near the airport — within walking distance of a steakhouse and with a view of the Franklin Mountains.
They'll try to sleep through the night, but junior Corey Nelson said falling asleep and staying asleep will be the two biggest challenges.
“ ... You're thinking about the game and the plays you're going to make out on the field,” Nelson said. “You're going through your reads and through what you need to do before the play even starts.
“It's just a lot that's running through your head while you're trying to sleep and it's kind of hard. You have to wake up early to prepare mentally for it so it's kind of a little bit of both worlds.”
There's not much to do around the team's hotel, according to a hotel staffer who actually chuckled at the question. Food. That's about it.
The Sooners' Saturday schedule does include team meals — breakfast, lunch and a pregame meal of some type of protein and fruits and vegetables.
The team's typical Friday meetings were moved to Saturday to help focus on game day. Then there's the walk-through — when players and coaches actually walk through their game plan and selected plays. Sometimes it's done in a parking lot, other times it's done in a hotel ballroom.
This week, in a departure from the norm, the Sooners will be doing their walk-through at Sun Bowl Stadium. It'll be the biggest break from being inside the hotel the players get on Saturday. They'll go over their game plan, begin to prepare mentally and get their blood moving. Coaches and trainers don't want players sitting around a hotel room for hours before kickoff.
But what about the inevitable down time?
During breaks, Gabe Ikard plans to watch a movie, maybe “Step Brothers.” Punter Tress Way said he'll watch “Seinfeld.” Quarterback Landry Jones will read his Bible, and linebacker Corey Nelson will listen to gospel music.
OU coach Bob Stoops said he'll actually get up for the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in Dublin, Ireland, that's at 7 a.m. Most of the other players said they would be watching whatever game was on during their break.
As for Washington, he raised his eyebrow at that question, too.
“Study my playbook,” he said. “Flip through pie charts and formations.”
By the time the Sooners take the field, most of America's college football teams will already have a win or a loss on their 2012 record. Some fans will have already tucked their children in for bed. Some will be firing up their grills for a fourth-meal — the kickoff meal.
Landry Jones will have tucked away his Bible, and R.J. Washington will have set down his playbook. All that's left is to answer the unanswered in the first game beneath the lights.