Travon McMillian has lived in Boulder for barely two months, but the Colorado senior looks quite comfortable in his new home.
The Buffaloes running back, who transferred from Virginia Tech this summer, posted the third 100-yard game of the season in Friday’s 38-16 victory against UCLA.
“I’m just getting more comfortable with the offense in general,” McMillian said after rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown against the Bruins. “It’s not anything really specific, but I give all my credit to the offensive line because without those guys I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. As long as they give me one guy that I can make miss or two guys, I’m willing to do that. I’m just really grateful for those guys.”
McMillian rushed for 2,153 yards in three seasons at Tech. He led the Hokies in rushing in 2015, led tailbacks in rushing in 2016, and was leading rusher in the 2017 regular season before announcing his intention to transfer before the bowl game.
As his career went along, however, Tech went with more of a committee approach to its run game. McMillian had 200 carries in 2015, but that number dropped to 145 in 2016 and 104 in 2017.
This season with the Buffs (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12), he’s got 392 yards and four touchdowns on 54 carries. His 21 attempts Friday were his most in a game since also having 21 against North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2015.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes for the team,” said McMillian, who had just two 100-yard performances in his final 29 games at Tech. “If coaches need me to touch it 20 times a game, I’ll do that.
“I’m just taking every week one week at a time; just trying to get better in practice each and every week.”
Quarterback Steven Montez said he’s been impressed with McMillian, who has shown his breakaway speed in previous games and his ability to get tough yards against UCLA.
“He just looks the part and the way he runs you can tell he’s very athletic,” Montez said. “One thing we didn’t know until we actually started playing football is he can stop and go on a dime. His cuts are really clean and really quick. It’s kind of deceptive because he looks like a bigger back. He’s a pretty big dude, but when he stops and he goes, he really puts the moves on them.
“Very athletic, very talented back.”
Good start for Sherman
Redshirt freshman William Sherman got his first career start Friday, lining up at left tackle.
“It was a lot of emotions,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of playing time in the past but this was the first time I started out the game. I just wanted to make sure I was crisp and didn’t slow down the offense in any type of way.”
Sherman said he found out Monday he was going to start, and that made him sharpen his game throughout the week.
“Coach always tells us to practice like we want to play,” he said. “I don’t think I changed the way I practiced; I always want to practice hard in case I do need to go in, but I definitely had it in my mind I wanted to be perfect in practice, finish and do everything I wanted to do in the game.”
Asked to assess his performance, Sherman said: “I think I did alright, but still a lot to work on.”
While the Buffs continue to roll, their opponents this season continue to struggle. The four teams CU has defeated are now a combined 1-16: Colorado State at 1-4, while Nebraska, New Hampshire and UCLA are all 0-4. The .059 opponent winning percentage is the worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision. … CU has scored in 15 of 16 quarters this year. The only exception was the fourth quarter against Colorado State. In that quarter, the Buffs drove to the CSU 12, but took a knee to run out the clock. … CU’s defense has 13 sacks through four games. The Buffs had 19 during the entire 2017 season.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.