By Michael Kinney
CNHI News Service
DALLAS – Trey Millard plays a position that is almost extinct in college football. The fullback in most spread offenses has become obsolete.
Yet, for Oklahoma, Millard has always been a vital blocker and change-of-pace back in his three seasons with the team, even if used sparingly at times. However, Saturday in Oklahoma’s 63-21 win over Texas, the 6-2, 256-pounder out of Columbia, Mo. got the chance to show he’s even more than that.
“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 rushing. 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 includes 175 by tailback Damien Williams.
“When they are running the ball down your throat, honestly, everyone is trying to stop the run,” UT 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. We worked on it during the week. All they ran was three-back and right down our throat.”
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 play by a Sooner in the program’s history.
But it wasn’t the numbers that had Millard’s teammates and coaches talking. It was his athletic ability in which he hurdled one Texas defender and brushed aside another all in the same motion.