MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Redshirt freshman Ford Childress, relegated to third-team status in the preseason, will be West Virginia’s starting quarterback against Georgia State, coach Dana Holgorsen announced Thursday night.

Paul Millard started both games this season, and Florida State transfer Clint Trickett played two series in the opener against William & Mary. But when a frustrated Holgorsen re-opened the quarterback race this week in practice, Childress leap-frogged both juniors and earned the right to take his first college snap Saturday.

“It’s his time, it’s his job and we’re going to see what he can do,” Holgorsen said on his weekly call-in show. “We opened (the competition) up on Tuesday and Ford took it and ran with it. He threw the ball as well as he’s ever thrown it and he managed the huddle really good.”

Holgorsen suggested there will be no scripted quarterback rotation against Georgia State, meaning the job solidly belongs to the 6-foot-5 Childress.

“He took about 80 percent of the reps today,” Holgorsen said, adding that he doesn’t want Childress going into the game and being “scared about making a mistake.”

“It’s his time, it’s his job and we’re going to see what he can do. We opened (the competition) up on Tuesday and Ford took it and ran with it. … The dude, he’s got all the tools.” — Dana Holgorsen

In 13 previous seasons as a Division I coach, Holgorsen has stuck with his opening-day starter throughout the season. But his patience quickly dissipated after WVU (1-1) committed five turnovers and scored only four touchdowns through two games.

Millard lost a fumble in Week 1 against William & Mary when he completed 19-of-25 passes for 237 yards with one touchdown in a 24-17 comeback victory. And there was no comeback during a 16-7 loss at Oklahoma, where Millard went 21-of-41 for 218 yards with an interception and another lost fumble.

With WVU’s offense misfiring against the Sooners, Holgorsen considered replacing Millard with Trickett, who had gone 0-for-2 passing during two three-and-outs in the opener. The coach made no mention that night of Childress, whose practice reps had been curtailed after Millard and Trickett became the frontrunners in late August based on their edge in experience.

“We had to make a decision at that point (in the preseason) and it didn’t work out,” said Holgorsen, ticking off several factors that initially sank Childress to No. 3 on the depth chart.

“It was a combination of things—communication and just (not) making throws and he fumbled a couple of snaps. He did a couple things we really weren’t thrilled about.”

Holgorsen was more thrilled with the freshman’s demeanor in the three weeks since. Instead of making a knee-jerk decision to transfer before fall semester opened, Childress stayed and was quickly rewarded with his first college start.

“I loved his attitude on the sidelines last week—he was probably the most active guy we had,” Holgorsen said. “I think he sat there on the sidelines and said, ‘I think I can do this.’”

Childress possesses the strongest arm of WVU’s three quarterbacks and could stretch defenses vertically, especially with receivers Ronald Carswell and Kevin White lining up on the outside.

Said Holgorsen of his new quarterback: “The dude, he’s got all the tools.”

INJURY UPDATE
Middle linebacker Doug Rigg (concussion) and safety/nickel back K.J. Dillon (leg) have been ruled out for Saturday’s game, Holgorsen confirmed.

 

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Comments

  • William

    Great decision by Dana. Love the Mountaineers. They're the best.

    • Kevin

      I'm sure William has a mirror. Discovering girls should be simple for him

  • Jt

    Great move by Dana, Childress will do fine let the new era begin!

  • Hoppy

    Awesome news!!!!

  • Outdoor Man

    Good warmup game for Ford on saturday...Best of luck my man!

  • donutfiend77

    Bring it!!!!!!!

  • jwg66

    I too am sick of the negative posters and those that think they can the season. Lets play our games and root for WVU.

  • shawn

    Let's Go EERS!

  • Sosick O'William

    And unfortunately you do too

  • shawn

    Hey William just shut up! We're all tired of hearing you. Take your pessimistic attitude somewhere else. We've heard enough and its time for you to move on.

    • Ricardo

      Couldn't have said it better Shawn! Allen, you have to do something about this William guy. All fans are tired of him.

    • William

      @Shawnee - I guess the truth hurts! Maybe if WVU would start hiring people with GREAT CHARTACTER and CLASS things might be a lot different. Its only going to get worst for WVU, so get use to losing, but wait you can get all pumped up when they beat those non-conf. cupcake teams they schedule!
      WVU = MONEY & GREED

      • shawn

        What you just said has nothing to do with the subject at hand. If you came with valid points you would help your case a little. You honestly need to leave and never come back.

      • Pudge

        William, that post reeks of jealousy. You should have stuck with your negative one liners. Getting wordy exposes you.

      • Alum

        Lil' billy, you wouldn't know truth if it came up and bit you on your backside.

      • David

        You seriously sound like a Notre Dame fan.....

      • Wil

        I will give WVU credit on something. WVU=HOT GUYS!

      • joe

        William is only posting on here because on the Marshall side of this website, there is no news to talk about.William is a troll he is a Marshall fan.If we can just ignore him he will go away.We feed him by making comments when he posts.So once he sees that we ignore all of his post he will pack up his balls and go home.

    • shawn

      Come on Allan, you actually deleted what i said? What has this world come to? I feel as if my rights have been violated. Listen if i have to hear Billiams opinions, my comments should be allowed on here.

      • David

        Maybe, just maybe---- William is Allan or Allan is William!!! Got y'all thinking now!!!!

  • Mike

    This kid is the real deal. I seen him play high school ball. Hopefully he takes the bull by the horns.

    William - Do us all a favor and shut up.

  • William

    Big Quarterback mess in Morgantown, the drama continues.

    • Andy

      A big idiot posts on the board...William continues.

    • Ricardo

      You're not very smart. That's why you are not the coach. Please stop posting and reposting your negative comments.

    • Jrizzle

      William, what happened to the deal that Dana made with trickett to be the starter? Remember, Childress and Millard were both going to transfer because Clint was guaranteed a starting job??? This was the inside scoop you've been repeating over and over for months. You were wrong. You've shown yourself to have no class, so you should fit right in with these hires that have no character.

      Also, it gives you much more credibility when you correctly spell words in your post. You post constant garbage filled with atrocious grammar and worse spelling. If you had any intelligence about this topic, it would be lost in your grammatical presentation.

      You sir, are as classless as you claim others to be.

    • Bobby M

      SAD! But TRUE! Folks I've been as even kealed as they come! So put on the thinking CAPS and use them! What if I told you about some other school with these QBing problems?!? Be honest! You'd probably say - thats a MESS! And guess what? You'd be right in SAYING it!

      So what? Were starting week 3 and a new 3rd string QB??? Thats MESS spelled with a capital F! I hope we can pull this out but we've got serious Geno-smith-hangover!

    • William

      Top ten best looking guys in Morgantown.
      1. Oliver Luck
      2. Jim Clements
      3. Dana Holgorsen
      4. The new announcer at home football games.

  • Rob T.

    Big time recruit! He's earned his chance now lets watch the future

  • Calvin

    Awesome!!!

  • William

    Yippee!

    • WV07

      First positive comment We've seen from you William!

      • WVAtty

        I'm quite sure it was laced with sarcasm.

    • WV07

      Allan? One bad night of frustration and now all my comments are waiting for moderation?

  • Andy

    Seriously? Didn't see this coming...

    • Big Larry

      Wow! What a shock...Never saw it coming either...

      Finally...A decision in Morgantown that makes some sense!