The Sooners took the field for their first practice of fall camp on Friday as preparations for the 2020 college football season began.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season due to COVID-19, OU remains a heavy favorite to win its sixth-straight Big 12 championship. The Sooners are scheduled to kick off their season Aug. 29 against Missouri State. The team's second scheduled game against Tennessee on Sept. 12 was canceled Thursday after the Southeastern Conference moved to a conference-only schedule.
Here's what Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said after his team's first full practice in 143 days:
On returning to practice
"It's a long time coming. You could feel that in the atmosphere today. Guys are just eager to be out here (and) are very excited — maybe even more than a normal opening of camp — because they're always fun, but this one had a little different feel to it."
On players staying in shape at home before returning to campus
"We're in good shape. ... I think they did a really good job while they were home, and as a lot of people know, we kept our guys home a little bit longer than most and they've done a good job. ... We didn't have to pull off of them very much from what we would normally do on a day like today so that was a big positive."
On competition between players during camp
"It looks like we've got a lot of contributors on this field and a lot of guys that could potentially have a lot of big roles for this team. So it's exciting. ... I don't think there's a position right now that we're not gonna have a lot of competitive depth."
On potential adjustments to practice due to COVID-19
"It's more about keeping the face covered and what we do in between (practices). We're not changing a whole lot about our practices. We've gone for seven days now in the (Organized Team Activity) period and even in that we've done team drills (with) guys up next to each other. And as everybody knows, we tested again and had no positives, so we feel like what we're doing is working. It's not as much about what we're doing as far as the drill. It's limiting unnecessary times where guys are not socially distant and then everybody keeping their face covered."