Players will use week off for rest

Tigers see bye week differently as they rest and heal from earlier season woes.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:54 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Missouri football team’s bye week brings mixed feelings for players.

One positive aspect is the bye week allows players to have a few days off from football to heal injuries.

“We get a chance to get our legs back and guys get to finally rest,” said wide receiver Brad Ekwerekwu, who is suffering from a sprained knee. “It seems like a monotonous season so far.”

Most Tigers, however, are looking past that aspect and would prefer to play this weekend.

“I hate off weeks,” Will Franklin, a junior wide receiver said. “You get real ‘laxed during those times. You don’t take the next game as seriously as you want to. I’d rather just continue to go in the season from here on out.”

Missouri is coming off two straight losses to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Nebraska, and the team has lost three out of the last four games after starting the season 6-0.

Coach Gary Pinkel said the team will have today and Friday off, have a light workout on Thursday then continue with full practices on Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ll just forget about football for a couple of days and just relax, get our minds together,” Chase Daniel, Missouri’s quarterback, said. “The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.”

While players are resting and catching up on schoolwork, Pinkel said seven assistant coaches are recruiting until Friday and coordinators are working on the preliminary game plan for the Nov. 18 Iowa State University game.

The University of Kansas also has a bye week.

“It will be a good time, after playing 10 weeks in a row, to get a little bit of rest, but also to improve fundamentally,” Kansas coach Mark Mangino said.

The Jayhawks are practicing today and Thursday, then getting the weekend off so coaches can recruit.

For Mangino, the bye week can create the right mindset for the team’s final two games against Kansas State University and Missouri.

“I think the fact that we are finishing the season with two teams that are considered rivals,” Mangino said, “we have the chance to set the tempo this week and carry that tempo throughout the remainder of the season.”

IOWA STATE KICKOFF: The kickoff for the Missouri game at Iowa State is 1 p.m. Nov. 18, Iowa State announced Tuesday. It will not be on TV. The game is the last for the Cyclones (3-7, 0-6), who play at Colorado this weekend.

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