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UT using schedule break to heal, get ready for BYU

09/22/2016, 12:38am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Rockets return to action on road Sept. 30


Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside says the bye week is a chance to focus on fundamentals. BLADE PHOTO

For a University of Toledo football player there really are no days off.

With a bye week this weekend before a trip to play Brigham Young on Friday, Sept. 30, there was no practice on Monday or Tuesday for the Rockets, but UT coach Jason Candle said he doesn’t view those as off days.

“The guys aren’t off,” Candle said. “They have school and they have their academic requirements that they have to handle and tutors and study tables and all that. We lifted and watched film yesterday and now we’re kind of back in a practice routine and kind of turning our focus to BYU.”

With Toledo at 3-0, there is always the question of whether a bye week slows down some momentum from the first three weeks of the season, in which Toledo outscored its opponents 128-30.

The team practiced on Wednesday and will again today but there is no practice planned for Friday. The UT coaching staff and players have adjusted their schedules from a normal game week and are taking the bye week in stride.

“I think at any time it’s always beneficial to have one,” Candle said. “You get a chance to catch your breath a little bit and mend up the injured guys who are dinged and then you get a chance to sit down and watch what you’ve done offensively, defensively, and special teams-wise and try to correct those before somebody else corrects them for you.”

For junior linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley, Monday and Tuesday were an opportunity to recover from what has been a grueling three-week stretch.

He said he tried to wake up as early as possible to get in the cold tub and get in his tutoring and study tables before his classes.

“These past few days everybody has just been trying to get their legs back,” Woodley said. “I know I got my legs back, for sure, because I was pretty tired.”

Senior tight end Michael Roberts referred to Monday and Tuesday as mental days rather than days off and said it gave the players the opportunity to look at game film.

“We met at the same time,” Roberts said. “We spent about an hour-and-a-half or two hours with film, going over each person and what they’re doing and trying to read defenses. Then next week, we’ll go back to our regular game week where everything is back to normal.”

For junior quarterback Logan Woodside, who has the Toledo offense rolling to the tune of 567.3 yards per game, the bye week is a chance to get back to the basics and focus in on what needs to be corrected before going to Utah for the BYU game.

“It’s not really as much the time off as it is just getting back on the practice field and working on our fundamentals and what we haven’t done great the past three games and trying to get better at those,” Woodside said.

UT is coming off a 52-17 win over Fresno State, a game that saw the Rockets break the 300-yard mark in rushing and passing and hold the Bulldogs to 0-for-13 on third down conversions.

The team still feels like the momentum can continue through this weekend and leading up to the game at BYU. The bye week is on the schedule, so UT intends to take advantage of it.

“We welcome it with open arms,” Roberts said. “We have a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence in ourselves and the person next to us. We’re really firing on all cylinders. It’s just time to get the details right. Once we get the details right we’ll excel way past our expectations.”

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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Tag(s): College  Toledo