During most bye weeks, teams focus on getting healthy and nursing injuries, but during their bye week, the Panthers are prepared to work.
Cornerback Jerome Smith could taste a win over ranked Wisconsin on Saturday and doesn’t want to leave a hard fought game disappointed again.
“Over the bye week, I’m hoping that guys compete more and getting on the field more,” Smith said. “Get more work in and hopefully come out with a W next Saturday.”
But keeping a group of college athletes focused over two weeks is no small challenge.
While senior wide receiver Robert Davis knows the coaching staff prioritizes the team’s health ahead of conference play, Davis how dangerous a bye week can be to team’s drive.
“Right now we’re just doing our regular schedule practicing maybe even a little bit harder because we don’t have a game this week making sure we don’t let off, because that’s one thing that can really hurt you in the bye week,” Davis said. “What’s hurt me with this being my fourth year, after every bye week we’ve kind of had a downfall in our play. So just making sure we stay and just have that competitive edge going into conference play.”
Since 2013, the Panthers have lost every game after their bye week, most recently with a 41-33 loss to Liberty in 2015.
Still seeing rest as a priority, practice this week for the Panthers ran Tuesday through Thursday and then the team will receive Friday and Saturday off to recuperate.
As far as the health of the team, the Panthers are still missing wide receiver Penny Hart and defensive end Mackendy Cheridor. The pair did not practice on Wednesday along with tackle Michael Ivory who suffered a knee sprain this week.
Coach Trent Miles was optimistic that all players who are out this week should be a back by to play Appalachian State on Oct. 1.