Sunday, December 28th, 2014

BU Follows Routine, Anticipates Physical Challenge

Photo By: Photo by Ian Halperin, CBAA

Keeping your game-week routine intact is challenging during a bowl, but Baylor has stuck pretty close to its usual script.

The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) practiced for about one hour and 45 minutes Sunday at AT&T Stadium in preparation for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Thursday.

Getting on the field at 9 a.m. is different than the usual afternoon practices during the regular season. But the practice structure remains the same against Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) as if it were for a Big 12 opponent.

“Yesterday was a little bit different,” Head Coach Art Briles said. “We’re not used to practicing quite that early, but today I thought our guys were in the flow a little bit more. I like that we’re going early since we actually kick off at 11:45 [a.m.]. That will seem like a late kickoff to us after working out this way all week.”

Linebacker Collin Brence said, “We’re trying to keep it as normal as possible.”

The Bears worked in helmets and shoulder pads with no lower-body pads and no hitting, which is normal for them. Tempo and energy were high.

Baylor is preparing for what safety Terrell Burt said will be “the most physical team we’ve played.” Still, Briles was not tempted to institute full-contact practices this week and kept the routine that has served his program well.

“We kind of think we’re physical,” Briles said. “I don’t know what defines physical. But I think being able to rush the football might determine that. We’ve led the Big 12 in rushing throughout the last four years. I think physical starts in the mind and works through the body. We’re a physical football team.”

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 79th edition on New Year's Day and kicks off a new era as a member of the College Football Playoff. Airtime on ESPN is set for 11:30 a.m. CST with kickoff slated for 11:45 a.m. For the first year, the Classic joins ESPN’s bowl lineup with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call from the booth with Tom Luginbill reporting from the sideline.

For the third consecutive year, ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Kelly Stoufer in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons from the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This will be Sham's 18th straight year as the Classic's play-by-play man and his 22nd overall.

Toll Free: 888-792-BOWL (2695)
One AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011

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