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Red Raiders preparing for late start at UTEP

The Red Raiders training staff has pushed for better nutrition, later nights

Posted: September 2, 2014 - 9:59pm  |  Updated: September 3, 2014 - 12:17am
Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington runs against Central Arkansas during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington runs against Central Arkansas during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
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Texas Tech has already started preparing for Saturday’s late kickoff.

On Tuesday, the Red Raiders training staff reminded its players of the importance of good nutrition and told them to start going to bed later. They need the advice because their 10 p.m. game against Texas-El Paso will be the latest kickoff in program history.

Imagine playing a fourth quarter that ended around 1:30 a.m.

Texas Tech head football athletic trainer Jeremy Busch hopes good nutrition will provide his players energy throughout Saturday’s game and the late nights will help the Red Raiders adjust to the time change. El Paso is one hour behind Lubbock.

“Are the energy levels going to be different?” Busch said. “Yeah, probably. They’re not used to playing that late but putting a percentage on that would be difficult.”

A 1989 study published in Ergonomics found that late afternoons, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., are best for exercising because body temperatures are at their highest then.

The study also found strength and endurance are increased by five and four percent, respectively, in the afternoon and injuries are also less likely to occur at that time.

But Red Raiders offensive coordinator Eric Morris doesn’t want to hear excuses.

“If you can’t get up for a game at 10 o’clock at night, you probably shouldn’t be here,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a distraction. I think our kids will be able to sit around and let the feeling build all day and be ready to explode about 10 p.m.”

To help them do so, the training staff plans to push back the team’s schedule Friday and Saturday by three hours in an effort to allow the players’ body clocks adjust.

The Red Raiders — who have won five consecutive games against UTEP — usually eat their Friday night snack around 9. Now, they’ll eat at midnight. They’ll be allowed to sleep in Saturday and eat brunch around 11, about 90 minutes later than last week.

And then they’ll start waiting for their late night to begin.

Morris points out that the Red Raiders sometimes stay up because they’re playing video games anyway, and running back DeAndre Washington said being a college student sometimes means a late bedtime. He doesn’t think Saturday will be a challenge.

“We’re both playing at 10 p.m.,” he said. “We just have to get mentally prepared.”

 

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College football

Who: Texas Tech at Texas-El Paso

When: 10 p.m. CDT Saturday

Where: the Sun Bowl, El Paso

Records: Tech 1-0, UTEP 1-0

Rankings: Tech receiving votes; UTEP unranked.

Line: Tech by 201/2

TV: Fox Sports 1 (Suddenlink Cable channel 51)

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