The Norman Transcript

OU Football

October 25, 2013

Millard, Ripkowski in at same time beefs up OU’s run game

NORMAN — It’s ironic the position that turned the tide for Oklahoma at Kansas is one that’s technically void. The Sooners don’t really have a tight end. The willingness to play Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski at the spot turned out to be a difference-making decision.

“That was a really good set for us today,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said last Saturday. “It helped us in a couple play-action passes that didn’t work out, but we were really efficient running the football on the edge.”

The ability to run the ball is the reason having Millard and Ripkowski on the field at the same time seems to have kick-started the Sooners’ offense.

It’s a reasonable assumption after seven games that OU’s offense isn’t going to put up great passing numbers. The reality is: Blake Bell is averaging 157.0 passing yards a game. The best executed passing play all season came when a receiver (Lacoltan Bester) threw a reverse pass for a 49-yard touchdown.

The decision to use Ripkowski and Millard extensively against Kansas showed how the coaching staff has come to grips with what the Sooners do best.

“We’ve had some success in it. Especially just finishing out games, we’ve had quite a bit of success with being able to stay on the field and running out clock,” Millard said. “When we’ve had to do that, we’ve done a good job running it, even when the defenses know we’re going to run it.”

The ability to run the ball when teams know it’s coming is going to be essential for the rest of the season. Kansas didn’t care how many receivers the Sooners put on the field. It played one safety deep and kept at least seven players in the box at all times.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Football
  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU looking into sexual assault complaint against linebacker

    The “personal issues” that kept Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon out of last Saturday’s Red-White Game are serious.
    The Oklahoman reported Wednesday night that Shannon has been accused of violating the University of Oklahoma’s Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red-White Game more of a treat for the fans

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent....

    April 14, 2014

  • Red White Defense rules the day at spring game

    Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field ...

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

    The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I ...

    April 13, 2014

  • A couple of scares

    By his own estimation, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thought 16 returning or projected starters were not in uniform for Saturday’s Red-White Game....

    April 13, 2014

  • Red-White Game won’t showcase all the starters

    It has been a bit over four months since Oklahoma played in front of a real audience. That will change at 2 p.m. today when the Sooners take the field for the Red-White game....

    April 12, 2014

  • Grissom trying to make move to linebacker

    The next evolution for Oklahoma’s defense is under way. It’s spent two seasons tinkering to get as much speed on the field as possible....

    April 10, 2014

  • Golden Eagles top scoreless Sooners

    The feast-or-famine affliction Oklahoma’s developed when it comes to scoring runs was alive and well Tuesday night against Oral Roberts....

    April 9, 2014