Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

October 26, 2012

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Oklahoma’s Millard set to take on Te’o

Sooner FB tasked with neutralizing Irish’s All-American LB

NORMAN, Okla — There was a time during Bob Stoops’ tenure as Oklahoma coach that the notion of letting the fullback run the ball was dismissed without much consideration. Why give the ball to a blocker when the running back had so much more playmaking potential?

Then Trey Millard came in and changed everything.

Millard has expanded his previous role of merely smashing into opposing defenders to clear room for others by displaying a wide-ranging skill set that makes him a threat as a ball-carrier and a pass-catcher. And for the eighth-ranked Sooners’ showdown Saturday night against No. 5 Notre Dame (7-0), Millard’s job will include finding a way to neutralize Manti Te’o, who’s garnering rare Heisman Trophy buzz at the linebacker position.

“That’s part of the reason you come here is to play with the best but also play against the best,” Millard said, grass stains on his pants from an afternoon at practice. “That’s definitely a matchup that I’m looking forward to.”

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said the assignment of blocking Te’o will go to “whoever draws the unlucky straw.”

Millard expects he’ll be doing much of the dirty work, whether it’s trying to track down Te’o and open room for Oklahoma’s running backs or trying to get open against him to catch a pass from Landry Jones.

Regardless of the assignment, he knows it won’t be easy.

“He’s a great player. Everybody knows that,” Millard said. “An All-American guy.”

Millard had three touches that yielded zero yards in a 24-19 loss to Kansas State last month. He then had a 73-yard reception on a short pass in the Red River Rivalry against Texas, leaping over one defender while shoving another away.

He’s also caught a touchdown pass each of the past two weeks.

He’s part fullback, part running back, part tight end and part wide receiver. That versatility makes him a critical part of the offense for Oklahoma (5-1), which can line up in a variety of formations without substituting in its no-huddle offense.

“I like doing it all. I love being able to move around,” said Millard, listed at 6-foot-2 and 256 pounds.

“It’s kind of funny. I don’t see it always in games against other guys but sometimes in practice, like during two-a-days, where we’re going against our own guys and they get confused and it’s kind of my fault. It’s kind of fun to know that you caused that and helped make a play for the offense.”

Millard hoped that he might grow into a key contributor when he came to Norman from Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo.

The closest comparison to him during Stoops’ time is tight end Brody Eldridge, who went to the NFL after also serving as a fullback, H-back and even offensive lineman.

Millard doesn’t figure to move up front, but Eldridge was never as big of a threat with the ball in his hands.

“I knew coming in that I had the opportunity to do some of that stuff. Whether or not all of it would happen or not, you never know as a high-school kid,” Millard said.

“I think I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity for my role to expand as much as it has and just try to continue on it.”

The Sooners will be counting on him to hold his own against Te’o, who averages about 10 tackles per game and also has four interceptions and one fumble recovery this season.

“I think his drive is part of what makes him so great,” Millard said.

“He’s coming up snap after snap, hitting people in the mouth. ... He gets cut, gets knocked down, you can see him roll, get up, chase the play and get a tackle. He doesn’t have quit in him.”

Added Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard: “He’s extremely talented but he plays about as hard as you’ve seen anyone play on film. He runs around so much that guys don’t even touch him. A bunch of his plays, he’s not even being blocked. Just really gifted athletically, and just seems like one of those guys that just understands it.”

Millard said he lumps himself in with Oklahoma’s offensive linemen as the group that will be tasked with standing up to Notre Dame’s talented front seven, the bruising part of a defense that’s allowing only 9.4 points per game.

Exactly what he does to get the job done doesn’t matter to Millard.

“I love making big blocks and I love springing guys. If I have the ball in my hands, I love doing that too,” he said.

“I definitely think if we have some of those longer runs, it definitely gets the whole offense kind of fired up, makes the play-action that much more dangerous, makes the wide receivers that much more dangerous.

“We know that we need that against this team.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • WNBA MVP Basketball [TGN Online] Lynx's Moore wins WNBA MVP award Minnesota's Maya Moore has won the WNBA most valuable player award after leading the league in scoring. The WNBA announced that Moore will receive the award before the Lynx host San Antonio in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 120928 GHS-NR FB 05 H.S. FOOTBALL: Week 1 looks to be a scorcher GOSHEN — During the Elkhart County 4-H Fair I had a chance encounter with Bob Miller, coach of the Fairfield Falcons.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 West Noble Football Letterwinners H.S. FOOTBALL: West Noble ready to start 2014 campaign LIGONIER — The West Noble Chargers are coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2013 and have 19 letterwinners back for the upcoming season that begins on Friday with a home game against the Central Noble Cougars.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140615 goshen fb practice 20 New coaches follow fathers' footsteps GOSHEN — Two of the more anticipated games of the local high school football season in recent years will take place Friday. The Goshen Redskins host the Carroll Chargers at Foreman Field in Goshen and the NorthWood Panthers travel down SR 19 to face the Jimtown Jimmies.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - PT080714 - PT Tom Lindley column - pic Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame Not again. Not Notre Dame. Sorry, Irish fans. It’s sad but true. The stench of academic fraud — followed by a sweeping investigation — is back in the air in South Bend. With the season opener against Rice set for Aug. 30, Notre Dame finds itself with

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan St Notre Dame Football-6 [GOSHEN NEWS] ND FOOTBALL: WR Robinson settles into football path SOUTH BEND — At Notre Dame football media day, Corey Robinson is holding court. Peppered with questions ranging from the academic rigor of Notre Dame to what music means to him, he answers everything with a smile, and usually draws a laugh from the four or five reporters circled around him at his white table.|SOUTH BEND — At Notre Dame football media day, Corey Robinson is holding court. Peppered with questions ranging from the academic rigor of Notre Dame to what music means to him, he answers everything with a smile, and usually draws a laugh from the f

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packers Rams Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: NFC North has plenty of potential for points Green Bay's grab of the NFC North for the third straight season, giving the Packers seven of the 12 titles since the division formed, was predictable.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT GN140820 Kelly ND Media Day Notre Dame football: Kelly not changing team goals Five days ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly learned that he was going to lose four players — three starters — until an investigation into alleged academic misconduct was completed. Not much has changed since then. Kelly said he has talked to the four players under investigation, and has addresses it with the team every day. But now, Kelly has to move on.|SOUTH BEND — Five days ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly learned that he was going to lose four players — three starters — until an investigation into alleged academic misconduct was completed.Not much has changed since then. Kelly said he has t

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 nd media day 64 Notre Dame football: Schmidt shatters limits to become starter SOUTH BEND — Joe Schmidt doesn’t like people who tell him he can’t..

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: Notre Dame football media day

    August 19, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results