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OU football: Weather forces Sooners' spring game to move to Friday

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Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley said a lot of people will be working hard to make the spring game successful on Friday night. The game was moved from Saturday afternoon due to possible bad weather. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley said a lot of people will be working hard to make the spring game successful on Friday night. The game was moved from Saturday afternoon due to possible bad weather. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]

NORMAN — This was going to be a busy week for Annie Hanson and Drew Hill anyway.

The two are critical components of Oklahoma football’s recruiting efforts, and since he took over as head coach, Lincoln Riley has made the spring game a major recruiting weekend.

Tuesday, the two and everyone else involved in planning the spring game went into overdrive when it was announced that the game would be moved to Friday.

The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Owen Field, with the Lee Brice concert scheduled to begin at 6:30. Gates will open at 5:30.

“A lot of people are gonna have to work extra hours this week and really grind to get it done,” Riley said. “But it’s all about making this game special, and we thought this was gonna be the best way to do it.”

The festivities were originally planned for Saturday afternoon. But with rain expected Saturday and temperatures expected to dip into the 40s or even high 30s, the decision was made Tuesday to move the game.

Riley said he anticipated all of the official visitors that had planned on being in Norman for the weekend would still make it and that they’d be there in time for the game.

“Unless we get some major flight delays,” Riley said. “We’ve got a pretty big cushion there. We've got close to, we think, a six-hour cushion there so as long as the airlines cooperate better than the weather did we'll be good.”

Playing the game Sunday was given a brief consideration, but the game would’ve needed to be played Sunday morning due to the NCAA’s limitation on official visits being 48 hours and not conflicting with church services was a consideration.

Outside of Black Friday games against Nebraska during the Big Eight days, Oklahoma hasn’t hosted Friday games, and the spring game has traditionally been a daytime affair.

“I feel like a lot of people were excited,” defensive back Tre Norwood said. “It’s the first-ever spring game at night, under the lights, so it’ll give it a different feel.

“I feel like the energy’s still going to be there, going to have the fans into it still. I feel like it’s going to be a good change.”

Riley said the coaches divided the teams similar to last year and that once again, there will be guest coaches on each side.

Last season, the game lasted three quarters. This year, it will be just one half, though Riley said the quarters might be extended a bit.

“It’ll be quick,” Riley said. “I don’t think we’ll even have to wait for TV timeouts now, so I think the fans will love the fact that it’s either gonna be action or it’s gonna be something fun happening down on the field.

“There’s not gonna be a lot of dead time in between.”

Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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