That means it's time to switch into season mode, but that doesn't mean the grind is over. It's just time to crank it up a notch. If there was ever a staff that could effectively maintain a camp mentality throughout the season, I think it's this one. "You have to," Chryst said when asked about doing so.
Quite honestly, I don't know how much will actually change once the season is in full swing. I think they'll still throw on the full pads a couple days a week and play ball. "It's a physical game and it's a tough game, that's the only way you can practice it," Chryst said. Now they've just got to take that physicality from the practice field to the game field.
Coach Chryst and his staff started introducing their players to Youngstown State's personnel and schemes this week. "I thought we could take advantage of the next two days and change gears so when we're getting into preparation for Youngstown State it's not the first time they're going through those practices," Chryst said. With less than 10 days to go before opening kickoff, a head start is definitely a good start.
Their first two games are only separated by five days, so the Panthers won't have much time to rest once things get rolling. When the clock hits zero on September 1, they'll have to turn their attention quickly to Cincinnati. The Panthers play the Bearcats on Thursday night the following week to open conference play. It's a quick turnaround, there's no doubt, but I have a feeling this staff and their team are up for the challenge. They strike me as guys who love to prepare, they enjoy the process - they're grinders.
If you happen to take a drive past the Panthers' practice facility late one night during this week or next, don't be surprised if you see several office lights still on. My guess is that these coaches, after preparing and practicing for Youngstown State throughout the day, will most likely be logging some overtime as they brush up on their second opponent. Preparing for your season opener and a fast approaching midweek game is a daunting task, but that's the business of college football. These guys know that, they love it.