SAN ANTONIO - Rested and in a festive mood, the Arizona Wildcats kicked off preparations for Wednesday's Alamo Bowl with a spirited practice.

Saturday's two-hour workout at University of the Incarnate Word, a small college located 5 miles from the River Walk, was the Wildcats' first since arriving in San Antonio on Christmas Eve. Wide receiver David Douglas said the practice was among Arizona's best of the year.

"You can definitely tell that everyone was excited to practice today," he said.

"When you go home and spend time with family, it kind of rejuvenates you."

The Wildcats took a different approach to the holidays this season. Coach Mike Stoops gave his players three days off to spend with their families; the team met in San Antonio on Friday night. The UA celebrated Christmas with an optional chapel service and team meal Saturday night.

"We had a good break," Stoops said. "This is a little different schedule than before. We have tried it a few different ways, and last year didn't work very well, so - again - I think the time away, the rest was good for the team."

The Wildcats will practice at Incarnate Word again today, then attend a San Antonio Spurs game as a team.

Wednesday's Alamo Bowl game against No. 16 Oklahoma State is the UA's third bowl game in as many years.


• What: Arizona (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (10-2)

• When: 7:15 p.m. Wednesday

• TV, radio: ESPN, 1290-AM, 1490-AM, 107.5-FM