Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Ivan McCartney finishes a 45-yard touchdown catch in WVU’s 41-7 wn over Georgia State.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Even 604 yards of offense behind a first-time starting quarterback didn’t do much to lift Shannon Dawson’s spirits Saturday. Not when five West Virginia drives inside Georgia State territory resulted in zero points.

Though the Mountaineers won comfortably, 41-7, execution wasn’t always crisp and West Virginia’s receivers continued to drop routine catches. Against one of the worst teams in the FBS, Dawson expected more than five touchdowns on 12 trips across midfield.

“We have a way about us that kills drives,” said WVU’s offensive coordinator. “I don’t know if it’s a mental thing—I don’t know what it is. We’re not asking anybody to do anything superhuman. Just do your job, and we’ll keep drives alive.”

Kevin White, after looking so dangerous in a seven-catch performance at Oklahoma, caught only two passes Saturday (for 17 yards) and dropped the same number. One botched a wide-open middle screen, and the second negated what should have been a 32-yard touchdown bomb from Ford Childress.

Mario Alford also let a third-down pass slip through his hands at the sticks.

“It’s frustrating, but they didn’t mean to drop it,” said Childress, who threw for 359 yards nonetheless, including a 45-yard touchdown to Ivan McCartney.

Other deep throws against man-to-man coverage didn’t turn out as well, due to Childress underthrowing receivers and the receivers failing to outposition GSU defensive backs.

“We made a few (plays), but we’ve got to make the ones down the field,” Dawson said. “Those are the ones that bother me the most. When you get an opportunity downfield, you’ve got to make a play.”

Freshman Daikiel Shorts had a team-high 88 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. He deserved a purple heart for his 26-yard reception across the middle, which ended in collision with Panthers safety Rashad Stewart.

“That was a great hit from whoever it was—I’m not sure which safety hit me,” Shorts said. “Luckily I didn’t get a concussion. I felt it in my head.  I saw (Stewart) coming over but I didn’t know he was going to get there so fast.”

Though it was undoubtedly his biggest live-game hit, Shorts felt prepared: “I had a couple of those at practice. Darwin Cook hit pretty hard in camp, so I’m used to it I guess.”

After catching a 21-yard touchdown in traffic during the first quarter, Shorts made a sprawling grab on a 23-yarder in the corner of the end zone. He narrowly wedged his hands under the pass, but couldn’t celebrate the catch because he rolled over the ball and lost his wind.

KJ Myers added six catches for 64 yards, McCartney made two for 66 and Ronald Carswell added three for 67. Yet for all the impressive stats, WVU settled for field goals at the Georgia State 6 and 25-yard lines, missed one from the Panthers’ 36 and suffered a Childress sack on fourth-and-3 at the 25.

Twice the Mountaineers punted inside GSU territory and Childress suffered his only interception on a hurried throw from  the GSU 26.

That limited WVU to 41 points, one fewer than UT-Chattanooga scored against Georgia State last week.

Said Dawson: “I wouldn’t be frustrated if we didn’t have the players physically.”

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Comments

  • Lo boy

    The Maryland game could be very interesting.

  • wvajoker

    Thanks Joe, and tell it like it is. West Virginia hates to change and will settle for mediocrity as long as things don't change. That is evident with the leaders we keep sending to Charleston. Things will never improve at WVU if we listen to these that do not want change. We have a good AD and good coaches that have done a good job recruiting, but good things don't happen overnight and there is no Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny. Changes come slow and have to be worked at, and that is happening at WVU. If we don't get behind the ones bringing these changes we may lose them and be back to mediocrity that so many of you are willing to accept. Maybe that is what you want so that you can just sit back and complain. Maybe you want to be the chronic bit***rs.

  • joe

    Matt,

    With all do respect... what are you thinking with that last comment? Are you that adverse to change that you are stuck in wanting to go back in time to "Bring back Eddie"? Give me a break. And seriously please stop spewing that venom. Attitude and backward thinking like that only serves to hinder progress. Do you realize that Luck has been sought after for other AD jobs since coming on board at WVU? Only because the man is a true Mountaineer have we retained his services. He is dedicated to the State and the school and I am sorry if that means some things are going to change and get you out of your comfort zone a little along the way. Please, please, stop with the small minded-ness. Instead I urge you to support our mutually beloved Mountaineers, embrace the fact that some things are gonna change some along the way and you may just find that you enjoy the ride. Maybe, just maybe we will all get to go somewhere we have never gone before on the ride. Luck is forward thinking, determined and aggressive, yet we are all fortunate to know two things:

    1. He has WVU's best interest as number 1 on his agenda.

    2. He values the things that make WVU, WVU.

    Don't miss out on a team improving right in front of your eyes, an Athletic department taking huge strides forward and Mountaineers being Mountaineers in a time of transition.

    Let's Goo... Mountaineers!!

    • Maxxajay

      @ Joe, Thank you Joe, Great post, I agree 100% just hope it's will sink in......

    • Billy

      Joe
      Matt is correct. He is not alone in his thinking. Luck is ruthless. He has destroyed our beloved team. If he could move WV between Texas and Oklahoma he would. He would probably change the name to Western West Virginia.

  • Matt

    I have been a fan my entire life, live 10 minutes from stadium, and until we hire a real AD we will continue to slide in all sports. Ed Pastlong had this University and athletic program doing great things and when Luck came aboard via Clements and Manchin and there secret meetings behind closed doors we are going to hell. This state needs to do everything possible to have Eddie come back and clean a mess, but these outsiders gotta go. Hardly anybody has WV ties. I have been frustrated for along time over this.

    • Bobby M

      WOW! and WOW!

      Hey Friend! Pastilong never HAD a WVU rebuilding project? We lost 3 of the greatest PLAYERS we ever had! Its called REBUILDING fella! Look it up!

      Stop being a Darla Downer and get it going Friend! We're about to play rival Terapins! Rock N ROLL Rumble here we come to Maryland!!!!

    • Neal

      I agree to some extent that Luck has made some decisions that make me scratch my head, however please stop complaining about 'outsiders'. I don't care if our coaches have WV ties or not, as long as they are good people, take care of the kids, and know how to coach, I don't care if they're from Mars. If we always limit our coaching searches to WVians or people who have WV ties then we are narrowing our candidate pool way too much.

    • Bob Smithers

      Luck is hardly an outsider young man.
      Perhaps you are too young to remember that he was WVU's starting QB for a few years,once a mountaineer always a mountaineer.
      Luck has brought more money in to WVU's atheletic dept than Ed P can count.Isn't $$$$ what it's all about ?
      If you remember,one of the reasons RR bailed is because of Ed P's lack of foresight in finances.

  • Bryan

    Bottom line is this team isn't great, wasn't expected to be great, and won't be great. They won today, got some valuable experience and hopefully learn from some mistakes to improve as the season progresses. To complain that a win wasn't as good as what you wanted is absurd. At some point we fans have to be realistic and understand what we have is what we have. I for one am hoping for the best and will support this team for what they are.

    Lets go Mountaineers

    • MountainMover

      "Not great" is one thing, but going 2-10 or 3-11 is what will be absurd. And if these guys don't step it up that's what they're looking at. Again, if you have problems blocking Georgia State there's no one left on the schedule that's beatable. I appreciate people who support the team but some of this borders on denial and delusion. Fans have every right to expect better otherwise let's stop building 70,000 seat stadiums, marketing WVU gear and paying coaches six and seven figures. 3-11 ain't getting it done.

      • MountainMover

        I meant 3-9. Still not getting it done.

  • MountainMover

    Happy with the win but look, if you're a kid recruited to play for a top FBS team then you've got to play better than this. You can't get whipped up front by a terrible team. Look at all the times their defense dropped our guys for a loss or no gain. That is a joke. Players at top programs don't drop so many passes, and please spare me about how young we are. The offensive line can't block terrible teams and it's beyond frustrating. Other top programs plug underclassmen, including freshmen, into these positions and they perform. If these guys don't step it up they're looking at a two or three win season and laughingstock status. Maybe they don't care. This game should've been over by halftime, they should've come out breathing fire after blowing that game last week.

    • Steve

      Go talk to Michigan. We got to improve but for some reason we play to the competition. When you change as many players as we do weekly it is hard to get consistent. I know you say youth is not an excuse but I think we simply had to much turnover the last 3 seasons and these kids are not jelling. We will get better. Look around theNCAA and there are very few programs that can handle all the turnover we have had. We have sent a lot of kids to the next level and YOU expect freshmen and red shirts to play like those guys. Get real. It takes time and we are improving. You guys seem to think that the other teams don't compete at all. At least be a little positive and enjoy what we are doing with the new kids.

      • MountainMover

        This was Georgia Freaking State. Listen to yourself. No excuse for our offensive line to get whipped by Georgia State. Many tackles for loss. Sacks. Unblocked blitzes that forced an interception. If it's Oklahoma or even Maryland, OK. But this was Georgia State. You cannot win at this level blocking like that. If you can't block Georgia State you can't block anyone. Again spare me the youth excuse, doesn't wash against a team that sucks.

      • MountainMover

        Why should any WVU fan care about Michigan. They beat Notre Dame last week and should've lost to Akron today. So? How does that have anything to do with the fact that we couldn't block a terrible team like Georgia State on way too many plays?

        • Magic Mike

          Michigan is always over rated.

  • Tom

    I think some of the dumbest posts I've ever seen are on this thread....

  • richard

    what would everyone like? to beat this team better than what D2 tenn. chatt. did to them by halftime. if you are satified with that win then you are satified with mediocrity. this is not a good team. but believe what you want. i hope they get better next year. if not for the 21 points in the 4th this would have been an embarrassing win. in my mind----it was an embarrassing win. if not for the last second touchdown....whew.

    • Bobby M

      But your forgetting ONE thing - Georgia played with HEART! They could have quit after last weekend but they came out swinnging and we TOOK there BEST shot! They were DETERMINED for the upset!

      Use your HEAD - we also had a FRESHMAN QB for his first EVER college GAME!

      Rock N ROLL Rumble next week against Terapins!

  • leroy j gibbs

    Always strive for perfection. Look at saban.I know he is upset about giving up so many points against Texas a and m

  • Bryan

    What would everyone like, we only gave up 220 total yards of offense

    • Rick

      And we only gave up seven points, and those were tainted because it looked like the player stepped out of bounds around the 20 yard line. With all due respect to Georgia State and the effort their players put forth, they are really a bad football team right now.

  • big tom

    it's going to be a work in progress.
    I see 2 more wins and that's kinda iffy.
    this was the worst team in 30 yrs. and they were down by only ten midway into the third quarter.
    but ford is a rookie,,,,i hope we stick with him unless he totally blows up.
    Maryland will certainly be a tester, they always have good athletes, usually b etter than ours, we have a 7 game winning streak, let's hope it doesn't end next sat.
    It seems our run def. can't really stop anyone, I just think our def. isn't near being competitive.
    Our running game looks ok, if our young OL can open some holes...
    yes, a long long season.

  • Bobby M

    We DID it! I think it was a LEARNING curve!

    Rock N ROLL Rumble is ready for Terapins!

    Spot it up and let it rip!

    • Kevin

      Please never post here again. That is probably the dumbest post I've ever seen.

      • Bobby M

        OH look! Someones driving the Cranky Bus this morning!

        Come on Friend! We not only won but we might found a QB starter! Get psyched out! Lets do it!

  • Stemple in Michigan

    While the drops and the rushing yards by GS are frustrating, there is hope for the future! Ford is our man. He will get more reps and get to know his receivers better in game situations. Our offense will continue to get better. The defense has improved from last year in regards to points allowed but the rushing yards put up by GS today are of concern. As the team finds it's identity and games more experience things will keep improving. We have a bunch of good players and we will sneak up on some teams this year. We as fans must stay positive! That is our job just as it is the job of receivers to catch the ball and so on. I live in the back yard of Spartan Stadium and the Big House is down the road a few hours. I will always be a Mountaineer.

  • Grant

    I agree Robin, but I think 2014-2015 will be very good.

  • Robin

    Allan, it is going to be a very long year.

    • rekterx

      It's going to be a fun year. Just temper your expectations.

      Watch the team (and Childress) take two steps forward and one step back a few times. It might be frustrating here and there. But at the end of the day you will have watched a team get better over the course of the season.