Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

WVU running back Charles Sims (3) celebrates a 24-17 win over William & Mary with Dreamius Smith (2) and quarterback Paul Millard.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While West Virginia had to squeak out a win over William and Mary last week, the team’s best playmaker right now appears to be running back Charles Sims.

The former Houston standout put up 120 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for West Virginia in the win.

“He got stronger as the game went on, and if you watch the way he runs, you don’t get a good hit on him,” said Mountaineers running backs’ coach JaJuan Seider. “The only thing that would wear him down is maybe the temperature or humidity. I thought we did a great job of keeping him fresh – for us to be successful, he needs to touch the ball. He’s our best player and he needs to get the ball any way he can.”

Sims, previously, has a history of taking in a lot of catches as well. He had 70 catches for 759 yards as a freshman at Houston under Dana Holgorsen’s offense. Last week, though, he brought in just one pass.

Regardless, the overall pass-run ratio for West Virginia against William and Mary was skewed to the ground game (44 rushes to 27 passing attempts).

“You can never predict how the game is going to go – we were prepared to go either way with it. That’s the base of our offense,” Seider said. “We are a balanced offense, but we probably ran more than (Holgorsen) is used to.”

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

WVU running back Charles Sims (3) runs the ball in the third quarter against William and Mary.

But does that continue this week against Oklahoma? Both Coach Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson expressed their interests in getting the ball in the air more this week. If that happens, are there enough carries to go around between Sims, Dreamius Smith, Wendell Smallwood and even junior Dustin Garrison?

“I think so,” Seider said. “We should have more reps. You look at the second quarter last week, it was bad. We had, what, 10 plays? If we get first downs, the drives will still be going on. I tell my guys to give me four or five hard plays as hard as you can and I’ll get you out. That’s how comfortable I am with the guys (we have at running back).”

Last week, the 1-2 punch of Sims and Smith was encouraging. Smith finished with 40 yards on 12 carries in the win.

“He’s a great back and he does things you wouldn’t see out of a normal back,” Smith said of Sims. “We’re going to keep feeding him the ball and me as well. We’ll just do whatever the coaches tell us, and execute off of it.”

Smallwood figures to factor into the mix as well in the backfield. But veteran Dustin Garrison almost seems to have been lost in the shuffle. He had just one carry last week for three yards.

“A lot of times when we sub, it’s about who I see in front of me,” Seider said. “I probably should have got Dustin in more in the first half. But you can tell a guy who is a team player – you got back to Wendell’s touchdown and (Garrison) was just as excited as he was. To me, those things are important. The kid has played a lot of games and has one of the best rushing games on this field. You can’t lose sight of that experience.”

Andrew Cousins/MetroNews

Dreamius Smith ran for 40 yards on 12 carries against William and Mary

The Mountaineers this week will put that rushing attack up against a revamped Sooners’ defense that limited Louisiana-Monroe to just 38 rushing yards on 22 attempts.

“They’re Oklahoma,” Seider said. “They have All-Americans all over the field. They have a fast and aggressive defense. They have a lot of athletes running around and we will have our hands full.”

And after last year’s offensive outpouring by West Virginia on Oklahoma, along with last week’s run-heavy attack, it’s safe to assume the Sooners will hone in a bit more on the Mountaineer running backs.

“We can get the idea of seeing that, but we’ll just take what they give us,” Smith said. “We’re just going to execute off of it and take what they give us.”

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  • Richard mosqueda

    He or you seem to be a good back just one piece of advice . Always deliver the blow .gbless

  • Ragweed

    I just love all the "positive" comments that you idiotic armchair coaches post. If our coaches had your attitudes, we wouldn't even have a football program. If you're so good why don't you go to Morgantown, no, Norman or South Bend, and get a coaching job. I'm sure some big time school would like to use your talents.

    • EPR

      The only idiot here is you ragweed.

    • Charles

      If you know do much mister negative. Get off your armchair and get it done. Midget league experience does not count!!!!!

  • Bobby M


    So the best PLAYER is a guy we're lucky to have and almost didnt come to OUR team?? REALLY? Great recruiting coaches! Glad to know some TRANSFER from HOUSTON can plop his rear on campus and BE better than ANY OTHER player we have!!!!

    This doesnt make me feel good AT ALL!

    • Sam

      Sims is a seasoned player who graduated from his University a year early. He was recruited to WVU. He had several options, but the coaches recruited him the same as they recruit freshmen and JC players.

      If we recruit a JC player, you would expect him to be ready to play, perhaps ahead of other roster players - why else would he be recruited?

      Going a step further, if your recruit a college graduate who has one year of eligibility, and no redshirt year available, shouldn't he be capable of starting? Why invest a scholarship? He didn't just plop down here. We won the battle to recruit him!

      Meanwhile we have Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood, good players, right? They are playing, and each contributed last week.

      And don't forget Garrison.

      Maybe you don't feel good about this, but perhaps you should re-evaluate.

      We also have Rushel Shell eligible next year on a transfer.

      Coaches need to put the best available players on the team. The players need to buy into the concept of "team first" and how can I contribute to make the team better. So far that seems to be happening.

      No one knows the final results, but that's why we're fans and watch each game each week. Right?

      I feel better about the talent we have. We showed we played an exciting brand of football last year, and I would argue that has opened the door and allowed us to get higher profile players like transfers Sims and Shell.

      • Bobby M

        WOW! You must be a writer because you SURE do like writing!

        TRANSLATIONS: You think SIMS is the best and like I'm saying - that may not be a good sign!

  • eduardo

    Guys Dana's offensive mind is questioned only by the "WAL-Mart Mountaineers". He is respected by his peers. He took a Big East team and was within two plays of beating TCU, Texas,Oklahoma, and Baylor last year. Coaches specialize on one side of the ball or the other. No offense is flawless. All teams struggle. Show the guy some wv loyalty, dont run him out of town to win multiple NC like Bowden.

    • EPR

      There is no question that Dana isan offensive philosopher. The man is legit when it comes to out coaching another teams' coordinator(s). He is not, however, a head coach nor does he show the potential to be a coach like nick Saban, David Shaw, or urban Meyer...

      Dana will have an occasional season of 8 to 10 wins, but as a head coach, just like Stewart before him, average to slightly below average teams are what you can expect on a yearly basis with him.

      • Dougie

        Go back to you Marshall boards and spare us your silliness on here, Lil Manziel...

        • EPR

          Go suck a fat one dougie.

  • james Hess

    I am a big WVU fan, but I hate our fans! How is booing your team motivation? Remember this team is young and will get better as the season goes on. Look for a upset in Norman this weekend! Go EERS!!!

  • wow

    It is nice to know we have all these coaches with all this free time to post on this site. Maybe the WVU coaches can talk to you guys and learn how to fix all that is wrong. Let the coaches coach and you guys do your jobs and I will just cheer for the team.

  • Charles

    Bet you guys are the same ones that wanted rr fired in 2005 after a 15-7 win over a 1-10 Syracuse team. But you guys no so much football. Get out of here!!!!

  • derek

    Might as well put the nails in the coffin all these experts on here. This is bigtime football we will adjust. We just had the 4th best recruiting class in the Big12. Dang people these kids just need to view these articles to get motivation.

    • EPR

      No, their coaching staff has failed them. People always say, "give it time, it's a rebuilding year... Bla Bla bla" Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford to mention just a few field a competitive team each year with all new faces without having to "rebuild" every time people graduate or get drafted... Why? Good, sound coaching... That's how... Look at TCU... Everyone thought the world was going to end when Andy Dalton left.. Or tank carder among others. And you know what? They remained a top 25 power year in and out. Why? Because Gary Patterson is a great coach.

      Spare the "we are rebuilding because Geno, tavon, and stedman left" b.s. If the coaching staff was good, it wouldn't matter and even with a very vanilla game plan, would have put up 45+ points on William and Mary.

      • bva24


        • EPR

          Seriously though. Am I right?

          Darn right I am.

          • wenkev

            No. You aren't right. Dead wrong, actually. The fact that you even mention WVU in the same breath with Alabama, Oregon, or even TCU shows your level of stupidity. Do you realize what the T in TCU stands for? Texas! Let's see..... I'm a 4 or 5 star recruit from Texas or Oklahoma and TCU offers me and WV offers me, where will I go?? Duh. WVU never has been comparable to any of the teams you mentioned. Oregon is the 'newest' kid on the block, so to speak, but they gave built a juggernaut in a short amount of time and it doesn't hurt when the founder of Nike pumps piles of money in your program. WVU has never been a reload program and never will be given their geography.

      • JasonMccallister

        Overpaid for hype. Probably good coordinator but no head coach. Head coaches responsible for everything including other coaches and clearly except for Seider we are sub par. No toughness on d and O line except for Rowell. Everyone talks about secondary we have no pass rush. Hope I'm wrong still support them but I can't see but 5 wins maybe. I hope I'm wrong.

      • Protechcpa


  • jlee

    Let's see what Simms does against a real football team. 120 yards against a FCS team is absolutely nothing to get excited about!

  • Magic Mike

    I do not know if WVU will ever be as good as they once were. I do know this as long as Holgersen is coach they will not be. He is like Norv Turner. Great OC but HC no.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    Looking forward to this game. Can hardly wait to get even for that lousy one point last season. LETS GOOOOOO

    • EPR

      Welllllll, this ain't the year that we are going to get even... Just sayin.

      • Barry


      • EPR

        Thats not nice.. Take it back.

  • No mas dana

    They should give the ball to Sims 25-30 times a game. He could be in the Heisman mix by season's end if they do. He could average 150 yards a game, if the O-line would show up for 4 quarters.

    • chad

      Heisman mix? You can't be serious

      • Bobby M

        YES! it is TRUE!

        Heisman winners are typically players that made a run starting midpoint towards the end. Remember when Payton Manning WAS guaranted to WIN the Heisman? BUT Charles Woodson came from nowhere to steal IT from him! ITS true! Look it up!

        • EPR

          Bobby, please stop posting.. Your posts are nothing more than idiotic bullsh*t.