More impressive — Millard's knock down or Whaley's sideline hop?
“His one hop,” Millard said. “I was hoping he was going to score, though.”
So, not a perfect play?
“A nine out of 10,” Millard said, laughing. “You've got to score to get a full 10 on my scale.”
Whaley, who had 150 all-purpose yards, isn't just a power guy. He can spin out of tackles with his balance. He can make defenders miss with his speed.
But he has this strength that is unmistakable.
“When people try to tackle him,” Jones said, “kind of bounces off sometimes.”
Whether a running play or a passing play, Whaley's mentality stays the same.
“Run hard. Stay on your feet. Break tackles,” he said.
Millard would probably say the same.
These two aren't fancy or frilly. They are just big, powerful guys who aren't afraid to take contact and put defenders on the ground.
And that's something that the Sooners didn't always have a year ago. Yes, they had talented guys. Yes, they could do lots of things. But when they needed a yard or two, they didn't always know who should get the call.
Now, there should be no question.
Whaley and Millard should be primary options when the Sooners are in the red zone.
“Ultimately, goal line and short yardage, that comes down to the offensive line,” Ikard said. “We've got to block ‘em up and make a yard or two.”
True enough. But doing that becomes a whole lot easier for an offensive line to do when you know you've got a couple of battering rams in the backfield. Whaley and Millard should give the Sooner line peace of mind around the goal line, especially since it might be playing without center Ben Habern who left Saturday night's game with an arm injury.
“It's nice knowing that ... if we block ‘em up, I know they'll push the pile,” Ikard said of Whaley and Millard.
Jones and Broyles might be established safety nets, but it never hurts to have a few more.