While most college football teams were in action on Saturday for the first time this season, Rhode Island enjoyed a bye, and some television.
“I really enjoyed it,” Rhode Island coach Joe Trainer said during his weekly press conference on Monday. “I can get used to that—waking up in a good mood and seeing some great games on Saturday.”
In all seriousness, the Rams went through a walk-through in the morning, a normal practice in the afternoon and finished the day with meetings on Saturday night in preparation for their game in the Carrier Dome this Saturday against the Orange.
To be sure, the Orange has an advantage, both playing at home and also in talent.
“In terms of environment, this is going to be the most hostile environment these kids have played in since they’ve been here,” Trainer said. “When you’re playing a I-A game, if you can avoid the knockout punch early, then the pressure goes to them. If you can keep the game close into the second half and into the fourth quarter, you feel pretty good about that.”
Keeping the game close will be a primary goal for the Rams. The bye week may help that.
“We’re playing a Rhode Island team that hasn’t played yet,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said during his weekly press conference on Monday. “We really don’t have a lot of information on them so we have to be prepared for everything. As of right now, they haven’t even released a depth chart.”
Trainer has a different view of the supposed advantage of the bye.
“I’ll be candid with you, I’m a huge proponent of playing 11 straight,” Trainer said. “When you win and have a bye, you’re worried about losing some momentum and when you’re not where you want to be, you want to grind it out and get to the finish line. So it’s less than ideal, but we dealt with it the best we could.”