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OU football: Lincoln Riley talks preparing for COVID-19 concerns ahead of Kansas State game

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Lincoln Riley

Coach Lincoln Riley argues with a referee during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Dec. 28, 2019.

On a Zoom conference with media on Tuesday, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said he is curious to see how the Sooners' next three games will go.

The Sooners (1-0) have made it to week two of the season and will start their Big 12 campaign Saturday, Sept. 26, against Kansas State (0-1), marking the beginning of three consecutive games. Riley has enjoyed a much-needed bye week after 28 Sooners missed Sept. 12's match against Missouri State due to positive COVID-19 tests and exposure.

With three games ahead, Oklahoma will not have a bye week to recover from players testing positive.

"I think it's really tough to predict," Riley said, "I'm interested to see how that goes, not only for us but everybody else in our conference. It was good to have a bye week when we did. (I'm) certainly glad that we ended up scheduling that the way that we did and happy that we were able to play.

"Obviously you just don't have that cushion now that you've had with three straight important games coming up. Obviously we've got to continue to handle it better, understand that if a guy makes a mistake or gets popped in contact tracing now, it's not going to be one game, it's likely to be multiple games."

As of Sept. 19, there are 20 student athletes who have tested positive in the entire athletics department, out of 583 tests conducted. Coming off two weeks of COVID-19 precautions, football players have three tests ahead of them. Riley admitted the waiting for results until kick off can have a "pins and needles" effect.

"We're honestly probably set on pins and needles more with the first (of the weekly tests) we had," Riley said, "now that we do it so often, (we're) maybe a little bit more used to it. So yeah, the staff goes down there, they warm up players, we get tested and then I get a phone call from from (OU's head athletic trainer) Scott Anderson and it's either a happy phone call or sad phone call, as are most of my calls from Scott Anderson."

Kickoff for Kansas State at Oklahoma is set for 11 a.m. CT on FOX.

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Caleb McCourry is the assistant sports editor at The Daily and is a junior at OU majoring in English. He's covered football, basketball and volleyball. 

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