NORMAN — Oklahoma's offense looked as good as it's looked since at least the Notre Dame game Saturday night against Texas Tech.
But at a major cost.
Early in the fourth quarter of a 38-30 win over the Red Raiders, the Sooners lost their most versatile — if not their best — offensive weapon.
Just two plays after executing one of his trademark hurdles over a defender to set up a touchdown, Trey Millard was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Three weeks after losing its best defender, Corey Nelson, to a season-ending injury, Millard's career with the Sooners is also done.
“The whole team's just crushed by it,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “You hate it. He's so much a strong, strong part of our football team, so it'll be tough to overcome that loss.”
What Millard has done so well for so long is give Oklahoma the ability to switch formations without adjusting personnel.
Millard could line up as a fullback or a running back, put his hand down and protect from the tight end spot or stand up and catch passes from the slot.
The Sooners have other players that can fill those roles individually. They don't, though, have another who can take on all of those roles.
“All you can say about Trey is he's the best in the country at doing what he does and he's been that way for a long time,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We're going to miss him, absolutely.”
On the Sooners' first drive of the fourth, Millard did plenty of blocking as Roy Finch ran the ball down the field on the Red Raiders. Then on second and nine from the Tech 17, Blake Bell found Millard on a short pass. Millard leaped over a defender and was finally dragged down at the 3.
Damien Williams went in for a touchdown on the next play to put the Sooners up 35-24.
Like he has been all season, Millard was right back out there for kickoff coverage.
As Jakeem Grant was tackled by Aaron Colvin on the return, Trey Franks rolled over Millard's left leg.
After being tended to on the sidelines for a few moments, Millard was helped to the locker room.
Sooners center Gabe Ikard, Millard's roommate and one of his closest friends on the team, was devastated.
“My heart's broken for him,” Ikard said. “He's one of those guys that loves the game and for it to happen on something like kickoff — you know, getting rolled up on a kickoff — that's tough to swallow for everyone on this team.
“He's the heart and soul of this team and he's definitely one of the leaders. We're gonna miss him a lot. We're gonna have to make some serious adjustments on the offensive side of the football without (No.) 33 out there.”
In the immediate aftermath, Aaron Ripkowski and Brannon Greene filled Millard's role in the offense.
In the short term, it worked as the Sooners ate up nearly six minutes of clock on their next drive after the injury to all but ice the win.
Moving forward without Millard won't be easy, though, especially with undefeated Baylor looming next.
Stoops said Millard will have surgery in the next few weeks to repair the torn ACL and another torn ligament in his knee and he expects Millard to still have an impact in the NFL.
Millard finishes his career with 538 rushing yards on 98 carries and 70 catches for 677 yards.
“It's tough,” Stoops said. “Trey's just so versatile. We don't have anyone else that's really like that, nor does just about anybody else, so that's pretty unique.”