Rock Bridge alum Millard plays role in Sooners' win over Tigers

Monday, September 26, 2011 | 8:52 p.m. CDT; updated 12:36 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard had two carries against Missouri on Saturday night in the Tigers' loss in Norman, Okla. The longer of the two went for 14 yards and a first down toward the end of the first half.

The other, a nine-yard rush in the third quarter, was one of the highlights of the game.

Millard, a 2009 Rock Bridge High School graduate, barreled down the left sideline at midfield when he saw Missouri safety Matt White approaching. Instead of trying to tackle the 6-foot-2, 249-pound Millard, White attempted to shove him out of bounds.

Millard wasn’t having it. The sophomore lowered his right shoulder and hit the 190-pound White beneath the chin, causing White's feet to fly out from underneath him and putting White flat on his back.

Talking about the hit after the game, the Columbia native sounded like he just got back from elementary school recess.

"The guy was coming and trying to hit me," Millard said. "So I hit back."

Both of Millard's carries came on Oklahoma scoring drives, and when the team scored six plays after the Millard-White beat down, it gave the Sooners a 31-14 lead. It was a long way from Oklahoma's early 14-3 deficit.

"I don’t think we ever freaked out," Millard said. "We just focused in to what we needed to do and started making plays, plays that got us going. It all came down to just executing better."

With his bittersweet homecoming to Columbia last year still in mind, Millard didn't shy away from answering one last question about beating Missouri.

"I can rub it in all my friends' faces now," he said.

Missouri re-examines field goal atempts

Less than 48 hours after Missouri kicker Grant Ressel missed two field goals against Oklahoma, coach Gary Pinkel discussed the kicking game during Monday's Big 12 teleconference.

After the Oklahoma game, Ressel is 6-for-10 on field goals for the season, creating concern among fans and coaches alike, considering his previous success.

In the prior two seasons combined, Ressel was 43-for-46 on field goals. He was a first-team All American in 2009, and a semifinalist for the Groza Award (given to the nation's best kicker) in 2009 and 2010.

Pinkel said Monday that he and the coaching staff have noticed Ressel's inconsistency on the practice field, as well as during games.

"He's been having some struggles in practice, inconsistency through two-a-days and also during the season here," Pinkel said.

The solution, according to Pinkel, is twofold. First, the team must help Ressel get his confidence back, but in the meantime, the Tigers are going to adjust their strategy when it comes to kicking field goals.

"He's been a slam dunk from the 30-yard line in for the most part in his career, and he's struggling a little bit there, so we're going to have adjust where we're going to kick," Pinkel said.

It sounds like, at least from that statement, the offense will be called upon more often on fourth down in opponents' territory than it has in the past.

Pinkel stands by Big 12 comments

With realignment still on everyone's mind, Pinkel was asked if he was confident the Big 12 could fix its problems. While he declined to elaborate in detail, he also didn't back away from anything he said previously, including last week, when he called the league's issues "embarrassing" in a radio interview.

"I've been honest with comments I've made in the last few weeks," Pinkel said. "I still stand by and stick with the comments I made. The Big 12 has the potential to be a great league, hopefully things will get fixed, and it will be."

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