The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 29, 2013

Sooner victory comes with cost

(Continued)

NORMAN —

That will be the issue for OU going forward. You can’t replace Millard because he was so much more than fullback. He could bury a defensive end on one play to open a big run. Then follow it up by hurdling a safety on a 30-yard reception the next.

Tight end Brannon Green stepped into Millard’s spot after the injury against Texas Tech. The 6-foot-2, 256-pound did what he was asked to do it when he entered the game. He blocked well and OU was able to effectively run the ball after Millard limped off the field.

But he’s a blocker — that’s about it. Fullback Aaron Ripkowski, who had already been given a much bigger role prior to Millard’s injury, is cut from the same mold.

OU knows this better than anyone.

“We have to move on,” Clay said. “It’s rough but I think Brannon Green and Aaron Ripkowski are gonna do a great job and fill that void. They both have to work together to prepare for this upcoming opponent.”

Up next is No. 5 Baylor Nov. 7. A loss means any hopes of OU winning a conference championship or playing in a BCS bowl game are finished. Win it, and those become very real possibilities.

OU had already started thinking about the Bears Monday. But the first thing on agenda is figuring out what to do about the void Millard’s injury brings.

Stoops admitted Monday there isn’t an easy answer.

“It’ll just be offensive coaches sitting down and deciding personnel-wise, how much if any we want to change,” Stoops said. “It’s not like you go draft somebody. We have the guys we have.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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