The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 29, 2013

Sooner victory comes with cost

NORMAN — It was not a typical Monday at the Switzer Center. Usually, Oklahoma coaches spend that day figuring out what it can do to get better. Instead, the Sooners’ offensive staff was trying to figure out how keep from getting much worse.

Losing fullback Trey Millard to a season-ending knee injury is that kind of blow, and OU did not downplay the predicament Monday.

“Obviously, Trey is the best in the country at what he does and all the things he can do. We’re just going to have to take the talents of a couple of guys. Hopefully combine them into something close to what Trey is capable of,” center Gabe Ikard said. “We’ll see how that goes but we’ll be ready to go. We’ve got good players. There’s not another Trey Millard out there but we can take a couple of guys and make it work.”

What Millard did isn’t easily illustrated. But this is as good as it gets: Millard got the ball 3.5 times per outing in 47 career games. Yet, the Big 12 Conference put him on the all-conference team three straight years and likely will make it four in December.

It wasn’t because of how well Millard caught the ball or ran with it. He was good at those things, but he was a great blocker.

OU is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and is on pace to be the best rushing team during Bob Stoops’ tenure as head coach. A really good offensive line is a huge factor in that success. Running back Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and Roy Finch are too.

“Look who’s in front of them all the time knocking somebody down, clearing somebody out of the way,” Stoops said. “Trey Millard is usually one of those guys out there in front of them clearing the path. He is consistently recognized as having a winning game, a great game with knockdowns, blocks, catching the ball, running the ball. He does so many things and plays so many positions.”

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