DALLAS — Trey Millard plays a position almost extinct in college football. The fullback in most spread offenses has become obsolete.
For Oklahoma, Millard has been a vital blocker and change-of-pace back in his three seasons with the team. But he has been used sparingly.
Saturday in Oklahoma’s 63-21 win over Texas, the 6-2, 256-pounder out of Columbia, Mo., got the chance to showcase his potential.
“I’ve been blessed in this offense,” Millard said. “The coaches try to use me to get mismatches. It’s a great feeling to be out there, helping your team out. Making plays when they are called for you. That’s just a great feeling.”
Millard exploded for 119 yards and a touchdown on five catches to go along with 45 yards on only three carries. He easily surpassed his previous career high of three catches for 39 yards.
“I knew there was an opportunity to have this type of day,” Millard said. “Coach (Josh) Heupel put me in a lot of good situations. A lot of times I’d catch the ball out in the flats, nobody was around, or the blockers out in front. He just did a great job of calling the game, putting people in good spots.”
Millard found himself wide open sometimes because of the effectiveness of the Sooners’ running game. As a team, they racked up 334 yards on the ground. That included 175 from tailback Damien Williams.
“When they are running the ball down your throat, honestly, everyone is trying to stop the run,” Texas safety Kenny Cacarro said. “So sometimes linebackers take their eyes away from their man. So when you can’t stop it, it opens up plays like that.
Millard’s 73-yard reception is the longest pass play by an OU player in the history of the Red River Rivalry. It was also the seventh-longest reception in program history.
But it wasn’t the numbers that had Millard’s teammates and coaches talking. It was his athletic ability he showed hurdling would-be tacklers.
“It looked like he just kneed that guy off of him and just ran through him,” quarterback Landry Jones said. “I don’t think there is a button on the control for what he did. He’s a tough guy, great player, good hands. As you can see, a great runner. Tough to bring down.”
Even though Millard was one of the biggest stars of the day, there is no guarantee he will see the same number of touches next week or the rest of the season. It’s something he accepts as the life of a fullback.
“They are going to use whatever it takes to win,” Millard said. “Whether it’s me getting a bunch of touches or not. Me playing a bunch of snaps or not. That is the role I play.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @email@example.com