Less than two weeks after suffering a season-ending tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, senior fullback Trey Millard has been at practice this week as the Sooners prepare for Baylor.
“He's involved heavily,” quarterback Blake Bell said. “He's out there during practice breaking us down and he's out there riding around in his little cart and staying with us. He listens to the calls and he's still out there with us.”
Millard has been spending plenty of time talking with Aaron Ripkowski and Brannon Green, the two players who figure to take on the majority of Millard's multiple roles.
Sooner coach Bob Stoops said OU could change things up in other ways rather than just subbing in Ripkowski or Green in the same sets that Millard was used in.
“We'll see,” Stoops said. “Why tip our hand how much we want to play in those sets? Or maybe we need to go to some other sets. We'll just have to see what we like when we get out there.”
FRANKS SETTLING IN ON OFFENSE
Co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach Jay Norvell said there wasn't much to moving Trey Franks back to offense.
“I said, ‘You wanna play offense?' He said, ‘Yeah,' and he just started practicing again,” Norvell said.
Franks moved back from defensive back to wide receiver before the Sooners' last game and saw action when Jaz Reynolds missed the game with an injury.
“We're just trying to squeeze everybody out of this roster, anybody that can help us in any way,” Norvell said. “Trey's played a lot of football on offense. He played a lot at wideout and he wanted to try defense and he went and tried it.”
Bell said he's redeveloped chemistry with Franks quickly.
“I remember coming here and throwing to him my freshman year,” Bell said. “I always loved throwing to him because he's so fast. You could just throw it out there and he could run under it. … It's always nice to have guys like him out there.”
FOLLOWING THE BLUEPRINT
Kansas State has been the only team that's done anything close to holding Baylor's offense in check all season.
The Bears scored “just” 35 on the Wildcats, more than 20 points less than Baylor has scored in any other game this season.
Stoops said that game gave his team a game plan to follow “to a degree.”
“They played very sound defensively,” Stoops said. “Their offense stayed on the field a decent amount of times and a lot of the things we've been talking about.”
Those include converting on third down and taking advantage of Baylor's aggressive blitzing on defense.
Perhaps no offense in college football uses the entire field the way Baylor does.
The Bears regularly have receivers lined up from sideline to sideline, forcing opposing defenses to cover a lot of space.
“Their alignments are crazy,” Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “You look on film and you see how they're lined up and spaced throughout the field and there's just so much room.
“It's a great scheme, and they have the athletes for it. They try to put athletes in space and let them make plays. … You can't really describe their alignments, you just have to see it on film.”
That means the Sooners will have to cover Baylor's receivers one-on-one much of the time.
“Playing against Baylor, it's you,” Colvin said. “Whatever you do it's gonna get shined on down on the field.”