The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 3, 2013

Green could see more playing time in Millard’s absence

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s had five practices to figure out how it will adjust to the absence of fullback Trey Millard. It wasn’t handing out any details Sunday night.

However, all indications are tight end Brannon Green’s playing time will increase Thursday night against Baylor.

“It’s going to be a combination of a bunch of different things. He’s going to go in and he’s going to play,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.

In the previous two games against Kansas and Texas Tech, fullback Aaron Ripkowski had also been used more frequently. Heupel certainly wasn’t hinting his role will diminish Thursday.

All the Sooners have talked about in preparation for Baylor is the importance of long time-consuming drives — preferably for touchdown — will have in the game.

Ripkowski and Green are OU’s best blocking options that are not offensive linemen.

“We’re going to do some things that hopefully will give both of those guys an opportunity to be successful — I’m talking about Rip and Brannon,” Heupel said. “At the end of the day, we’re going to put 11 out there and they have to go out and execute.”

Fond memories: In two games against Baylor, OU quarterback Blake Bell has rushed for five touchdowns, including a 55-yard touchdown run that salted away last season’s 42-34 victory over the Bears. In 2011, Bell found the end zone four times on just five carries.

“I would say that game is probably the best the o-line has ever blocked,” Bell said. “I walked in a couple times. Obviously, the line did a great job blocking for me that game.”

Of course, OU also lost that 2011 meeting, 45-38, which marked the only time the Sooners have lost to the Bears.

Franks on the move: OU has moved junior Trey Franks back to wide receiver after spending the spring and the first six games working with the defensive backs.

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