University of California football coach Sonny Dykes said getting an open date after the game for recovery was key for the Golden Bears agreeing to play Hawaii in Australia next month.
UH and Cal will play the first game of the college football season the Sydney Cup, Aug. 27.
“Oh, yeah, I had a lot of concerns,” Dykes said today at the Pac-12 Football Media Day in Los Angeles. “The big thing for us was just how it was going to fall in our schedule. You know, I thought it was really important for our players to come back and have an open week after the trip.”
Cal will have an almost two-week break before it plays its next game, Sept. 10 against San Diego State in San Diego.
UH will have have a quick turnaround in Honolulu before leaving for its Sept. 3 game against Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“Fortunately, we were able to make it work, so we’re going to play early,” Dykes said. “That was a big part of it, getting the waiver by the NCAA to be able to play the game early so we could have an open week the next week to get our players back in class and get those guys focused on academics and give them a chance to rest up and prepare for a road game against the San Diego State team, who is probably going to be on an 11-game win streak when we play those guys.”
In preparing of the trip, Dykes said, “We’ve talked to everybody. I’ve talked to a lot of other coaches, especially some NFL guys that have taken teams to Europe.”
Dykes said, ‘We’re going to use some compression things to try and make it easier on (the players’) legs and the recovery process. We’ve got a great plan in terms of getting our guys up and walking around the airplane and exercising. So, we’ll go straight from landing on Tuesday morning to practice and try to get them acclimated as quickly as we can and (be) ready to play by Saturday.”