Pat Fitzgerald has a plan for how to prepare his team for its Gator Bowl matchup against Mississippi State on New Year's Day, and it's not the same one he has used in the past.
"We'll go basically three practices a week, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday," Fitzgerald said after Saturday's workout inside the team's practice facility, which was watched by recruits, their parents and several local high school coaches. "Thursdays are just the young guys. We've done that two Thursdays in a row. Saturdays and Sundays are a mix of developmental work with the young guys and game-plan work now that we know who we're playing and all that."
After finals, preparations will begin in earnest. Fitzgerald and his staff will have a typical game week on campus before players are allowed to go home for Christmas on the 20th. The team will reconvene for a flight to Jacksonville, Fla., on the 26th, where another game week of preparation will begin.
"We'll go through our typical game week after having already gone through the game plan one time," Fitzgerald said. "We've got a pretty specific plan on how we're going to do things. We'll get about eight practices for the young guys, exclusively, and will use it as pre-spring ball, and then, obviously, do everything we can to have a great game plan, have the bugs ironed out, have the guys understand what we're doing to play fast and be ready for Jan. 1 and peak at the right time."