No. 10 Texas Tech, which OU plays host to Saturday, is likely to do the same thing.
What Millard and Ripkowski provide is the ability to run the ball regardless, because they can lead block and block in-line at the line of scrimmage. Millard has proven he can make very positive things happen with the ball.
“They’re very important. We have versatile players, and Rip’s been that kind of a guy for us this year. He’s kinda playing a couple of different roles as a fullback, as a tight end, not his natural position. And Trey’s done the same thing, so those guys have been very, very important with our ability to run on the edges and play in our 12 (one running back, two tight ends) personnel with two tights or two fullbacks, however you wanna call them,” receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “So it’s been very important. We’ve gotta do a better job going play action, and our alternate plays off our run game are important.”
Offensively, the Sooners have always been their best when they have players who can play multiple positions. Two of the best of the last 10 years were tight end Jermaine Gresham and running back DeMarco Murray. Gresham could easily split out to receiver. Murray could do the same.
Millard and Ripkowski aren’t in their class as receivers or running backs, but they can do multiple things. Above all else, they showed last week the offense looks a lot better when they’re on the field. That’s the trait the Sooners care about most.
Follow me @john_shinn