Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

In his college debut, Ford Childress completed 25-of-41 passes for 359 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against Georgia State. Next up is Maryland.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Though not always dominant, West Virginia pulled away late for a 41-7 victory over Georgia State. Here are the unit-by-unit ups and downs with a spotlight on the dawn of the Ford Childress Era:

WVU ran 83 plays against Georgia State and Childress triggered every one, absorbing some expedited on-the-job training in preparation for next week’s start at Maryland. In compiling a school freshman-record 359 passing yards, he tossed three touchdowns and completed 25-of-41 passes.
Digging deeper into the stats: Five of his 16 incompletions were flat-out misses on open receivers, but Childress also suffered four drops (including one that should have been a 32-yard touchdown to Kevin White). One of his best reads of the day—spotting a cornerback blitz and throwing quickly into the area vacated by the blitzer—resulted in a drop by Mario Alford that ended WVU’s first drive.
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s review—”He stood good in the pocket.”—was particularly spot-on with GSU linebacker Jarrell Robinson wrapped around Childress’ left leg on a 7-yard pass to Cody Clay. Robinson got to the quarterback again, in more violent fashion, on a 26-yard hookup to Daikiel Shorts, who also was belted pretty violently on the other end.
On the lone interception, Childress tried to beat a jailbreak blitz and didn’t see defensive back Brent McClendon step in front of Alford, who contributed to the turnover by breaking off his crossing route and turning vertical.
After underthrowing several deep balls Saturday, Childress confessed he was too worried about overthrowing receivers and vowed to “let it go” in the future. That arm strength showed repeatedly on sideline passes, including a 23-yard scoring strike to Shorts in the corner of the end zone.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

WVU running back Charles Sims runs for a touchdown against Georgia State.
With 18 rushes for 116 yards, Charles Sims enjoyed his second 100-yard effort in three games as a Mountaineer. He also scored his second touchdown, on a 32-yard stretch play. (Give Clay a huge assist on the TD, seeing as how he planted 190-pound safety Rashad Stewart on the edge.)
Sims split wide on a couple occasions and caught one pass for 10 yards. His chop block flag—cutting the legs of a blitzer already engaged with Mark Glowinski—looked more legitimate than the one Dreamius Smith incurred last week at Oklahoma.
Speaking of Smith, he carried 12 times for 60 yards and continues to show a surprising downfield burst. He ran through three tacklers on a 10-yard touchdown in the game’s closing seconds. However, the blocking bugaboo that limited his carries at OU appeared to resurface on a fourth-down sack in GSU territory, when Smith helped on an outside blitzer and allowed Robinson to run free up the middle.
Thanks to a late 38-yard run, freshman Wendell Smallwood was WVU’s No. 2 rusher with eight rushes for 62 yards.
Two catches of 40-plus yards, and seven of more than 20, looked like a productive day; but all four routine drops factored into drives that amounted to zero points.
Kevin White, who promised “I’m going to make a lot of plays this Saturday,” gained 17 yards on two catches and exited in the third quarter after his second drop.
“We’ve got to have some guys step up ands make plays on the football,” groused Dawson, sounding more exasperated than any coordinator should after his offense put up 604 yards. But he sees a unit that’s too inconsistent to reach its playmaking potential.
KJ Myers (six catches for 64 yards) became the third receiver to lead WVU in receptions in three games, and did so with a series of physical grabs to extend possessions. Shorts was more spectacular—five catches for 88 yards and his first two touchdowns—rebounding from his no-show in Norman.
Ivan McCartney had a redemptive week as well, catching a 45-yard score on the same double-move route that sprang him free for a goal-line drop at OU. Ronnie Carswell’s 43-yard catch on a post route might have been a TD had Childress led him properly, and for the first time this season, the junior showed niftiness on two sideline catches. Alas, he also had a late-game third-down drop.

Alford recovered from his opening-series drop to make four grabs for 33 yards, and scooted 24 yards on an end around.

Most weeks, the line would warrant an “up” grade for 245 rushing yards and a 5.8-per-carry average. But the level of competition comes into account, as does the fact GSU registered eight TFLs.
Most of the negative running plays came when GSU had a numbers advantage in the box, but right tackle Curtis Feigt and right guard Mark Glowinski each were beaten in one-on-one situations. (Feigt looked otherwise capable, and Glowinski got pieces of two defenders on Sims’ 25-yard first-half run.)
The left side was more reliable, with Quinton Spain and Marquis Lucas having solid days. Replacement Nick Kindler, who played both tackles, allowed a sack when GSU linebacker Robert Ferguson looped outside on a stunt.
Pat Eger’s first start at center was functional, tempered only by an interior holding call on a defender who was getting no push. (The worst part about the flag? It nixed a scramble that was Childress’ only shot at a Michael Vick moment.) Tyler Orlosky subbed in for the final four plays after Eger injured his left ankle on Smallwood’s big run.
One more note on the Smallwood run: Lineman Russell Haughton-James—filling out every bit of the No. 89 jersey during his temporary move to tight end—delivered a crucial seal block. He also ran a route or two, making it a shame Childress never targeted the 297-pound downfield threat.
Georgia State’s 4.1-per-carry average received a boost from Travis Evans’ 65-yard run—as much a function of second-level mistakes as the defensive front.
In his first start of the season, sophomore defensive end Kyle Rose made six tackles, including a sack. He was seeing increased action because Eric Kinsey spent more time at outside linebacker.
Another sack came from Will Clarke on a four-man rush, and the senior was a penetrating force in the backfield. Though Dontrill Hyman was credited with only a single tackle, he was disruptive—and he delivered the hit of the day upon deflating quarterback Ronnie Bell along the sideline on a 31-yard completion that should have been broken up. (See secondary.)
Nose guard Shaq Rowell made three tackles, including 1.5 TFLs, and played more snaps than expected because injured backup Christian Brown sat out the second half.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Nick Kwiatkoski made a team-high nine tackles with a sack and a forced fumble.
Nick Kwiatkoski has been an early season surprise at Will linebacker—much like Isaiah Bruce was in 2012—and made a team-high nine tackles. His sack was the result of defensive coordinator Keith Patterson dialing up more second-half blitzes.
Kwiatkoski also forced WVU’s only turnover, planting running back Jonathan Jean-Bart while forcing a fourth-quarter fumble. “Me and him just met at the hole, and I think I got my helmet on the ball,” said the linebacker. Kwiatkoski sensed he made a good lick when Jean-Bart “just kind of laid there.”
On the negative side, Kwiatkoski whiffed on Evans’ long run, though backside linebacker Jared Barber overpursued and was absent rom the cutback gap. Barber was otherwise solid on his assignments, making five stops, including two on passes caught at the line of scrimmage.
With Bruce injured at the Spur linebacker and freshman Marvin Gross not ready for extended playing time, Patterson admitted to “getting creative” and deploying two Bucks at times. Brandon Golson (with two quarterback pressures that went uncredited in the postgame stats) has looked explosive at the position, but Kinsey was surprisingly effective in his new spot. He made three tackles and one hurry, though he also lined up at nose and end in various alignments.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Freshman Daryl Worley made the start at nickel back.
WVU opened in a 3-3-5 nickel package, giving freshman corner Daryl Worley his first start. After being misaligned on GSU’s first play—result in an Evans 15-yard run—Worley recovered to make four tackles, one behind the line, and broke up a pass. Worley also came on several designed blitzes.
Partly because the front seven generated a frequent pass rush, Georgia State didn’t test the Mountaineers downfield—completing just 8-of-18 passes for 84 yards. The aforementioned 31-yard completion by Bell was an ill-conceived heave toward the middle of the field that Robert Davis had a chance to catch only because WVU’s Ricky Rumph and Travis Bell reacted poorly.
Cornerback Icky Banks contributed to Evans’ touchdown run, giving the back a path down the sideline by erroneously ducking inside.
Darwin Cook (three tackles) had a quiet game, except for a personal-foul penalty on an over-the-middle hit that came a tick too tardy. Karl Joseph recovered Jean-Bart’s fumble and made only two tackles, a function of the guys up front playing better.
Georgia State’s Albert Wilson was shutout after making 15 catches in the previous two games. He also entered a the FBS’ active leader at 19.4 yards per catch, but dropped an underneath crossing route, the only throw that reached his hands all afternoon.
Josh Lambert made kicks from 42 and 23 and came up a few feet shy on a 53-yard try. On what was unofficiallly “Stache the Stadium” day, punter Nick O’Toole wasn’t able to launch a boomer. He had a long of 36 and two other pooches that he dropped inside the 20.
Carswell took over for Alford catching punts and netted more than 15 yards per return. He also produced a 38-yard kick runback.
WVU’s kick-coverage unit contained Wilson to a 21-yard return average.
Dana Holgorsen didn’t face many pivotal game-management decisions, save for trying a fourth-and-3 play at the Georgia State 25 when leading 17-0 in the third quarter. When the call failed, and GSU ripped off a 65-yard TD on the ensuing snap, there was hindsight clamoring for Holgorsen to send on Lambert. But Saturday was more about stressing his freshman quarterback, not about kicking field goals in a game WVU was never in danger of losing.
His most crucial decision occurred midweek—choosing Childress to replace Paul Millard. For three quarters, this didn’t look like the blowout fans expected. However, WVU generated three touchdown drives in the final period and Holgorsen kept his first-team offense intact throughout the afternoon, giving Childress all the reps with all the right components in place.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

WVU coach Dana Holgorsen greets Georgia State’s Trent Miles after the game.
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  • richard

    i don't know how he watched it, but it's not a national channel.

    • Larry

      I agree, must be on espn gameplan or something.

      • Maxxajay

        No it is not ESPN game plan it is direct TV on the 600 numbers of DirecTV you can get it on satellite only not local or cable... I don't know anybody loves football more than I do...I have a DVR I can record five games at one time If I wish.... When the Mountaineers play I can go to the stadium...record that game it on TV. Watch it later on in the week again couple times...

  • J the C

    I've been waiting for a year to see this guy, and I wasn't disappointed. It was probably a good thing that his first game was against Georgia State. Build a little confidence. He's going to have to step up to the plate next week. Can we get come Bilitnikoff "stick-um" for some of these recievers.
    As for the team, they seem to be improving each week. Did anyone notice that we almost played an entire half without a penalty? When was the last time that happened? I opened my mouth to the guy sitting next to me right before that personal foul and jinxed the team. My bad!

  • Tom Heflin

    I watched the game on directv right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico so how can this not be a national tv game? The Mounties are looking good just way too many dropped passes in this game and the Oklahoma one too. I see us getting 9 to 10 wins this year.

    • Maxxajay

      Thanks Tom you made my point...

    • Larry

      What channel did you watch it on? Was it part of a special sports package that you pay extra for, or pay-per-view?

  • Johnny Zero

    That new tight end #89, Russel Haughton-James or has he is now known H-James, is a beast.

    Forget the runaway beer truck. Get that kid the ball and it will be like an Anheuser-Busch brewery rolling down a hill in a mud slide!

  • richard

    you're wrong. los angeles, chicago and let's say dallas all have directv channels but we don't get them. i know because i called directv to find out just so i would have my facts straight. try calling directv and ask them to gice you oakland californias sports staion. they can't do it. you can only get you area fox stations. understand? if what you were saying is true--do you know how many stations directv would need to cover all the sports area channels? lol, people want to act like they know things they don't. i knew before i called because i am a huge cowboys fan (don't hold that against me) and called directv to see if i could get the dallas root channel for the sports shows about the cowboys and was told i couldn't get it. not trying to argue, it's just what i am saying is right. and YES, i watched millard and he is worse than even childress. i hope the reason his arm looks weak is because he is trying to pinpoint it or whatever his reasons were. he's too big a qb to not have a better arm. i hope they are good enough to get to 8 wins but it looks iffy right now.

    • Colorado EER Fan

      Can you explain how I was able to watch the game in Denver if what you say is true? Customer service employees don't always know what they are talking about.Yes I had to purchase a PPV package, but it is still available outside the region. I haven't missed a WVU game in 3 years due to broadcast unavailability.

      • Maxxajay

        Thanks Colorado it is national

        • Maxxajay

          Larry Anytime I broadcast across this country Means it is national You pay for everything you watch on TV. Nothing is free it is in a package you choose on DirecTV what you want to watch It is not ppv it is a package mostly pack 12 games have big 12 games are on that... It is coast-to-coast nationwide that includes roots sports in Pittsburgh.... Case closed good luck

          • Maxxajay

            It anytime I program is broadcasted from coast-to-coast it is nationwide if only one person wishes to watch it ,is nationwide come out of your little cocoon and live in the real world as we live in.. Case closed

          • Larry

            I will give you one more example of a nationally broadcast game, this one in the NFL, last night, on NBC, the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers played. This was the only game on NBC at the time, and anyone who could receive NBC from Maine to California could watch this game, and this game only. The WV/ Georgia State game was a regional broadcast whether you want to believe it or not. Colorado eer fan even said he purchased it ppv. Case really closed and good luck to you too.

        • Larry

          He paid $18 to watch it on PPV, that's not a national broadcast.

      • Larry

        Thanks, you made my point.

    • Larry

      True, even in parts of WV you can't get Root Pittsburgh, you have to get Cincinnati area sports.

      • Maxxajay

        There is a big difference in cable and direct TV... If you buy Direct TV sports package on the channels 600 and up 700 ... Remember it is satellite not cable, And what game is playing at that time you want to watch it you can get it ... not talking about Dallas Cowboys or any local channel on Fox this is DirecTV package.... Satellite... I have a sister lives in Florida can get every game on 659 roots in Pittsburgh... When WVU plays and watch it 24 seven if she wants to... The only time that channel is blacked out is when the Pittsburg Pirates play their games are on it's blacked out she did not get the major-league package..: Baseball"

        • Larry

          All I'm saying is that most people dont pay the extra $13 a month for the package, and most casual football fans in say California, or some other state would not be interested in watching WV vs Georgia St., a national game is like Notre Dame vs Purdue, on a national network all across the country, that's all.

          • Hailey

            People who care about and watch football have it. Who really cares about the casual game watcher who would just a soon watch a lifetime movie .

  • Hop'sHip

    What kind of stock report fails to instruct us if we should hold or sell? Or do we have to pay extra for that? Is someone who went to Alabama really qualified to analyze mediocre football?

  • Big Larry


    Very Good! And yes I agree 100%.

    You missed your prediction of 60 points on Saturday...but everybody can't be me...

    I predicted WVU would not score 60 and that the defense would hold Georgia State under 10 points.

    I missed big time however on the QB. I predicted Millard would start and Childress would not see action...What was I thinking?

    But 9 out of 10 is not bad...

  • Justin

    Can we really judge anything from this game? I mean its kinda like placing Usain Bolt in the Special Olympics and saying that guy has talent! I loved Oliver talking on how the big 12 was far superior over the Big East...well of course its better, the big east gone. Whoever ran the biggest will forever be known as the biggest idiot ever...allowing Miami,VT and Boston College to leave all while never signing ND. WVU will always have the best fans regardless of their conference..we bleed blue and gold...even Dana is understands it.

  • Jim

    Childres looked ok for first start. Major issue I saw from sitting in stadium was very seldom did he look a receiver off. At the snap you knew who he was throwing to

  • Ryan

    Did anyone else notice all the weird snaps by the center... His snaps seem to be out of the Matrix....they were so slow that they seemed to stop in mid air and Ford would have to wait for it to get there... I thought it messed up some running plays because the timing was off

    • Rob

      'twas Patty the Viking's first start at center as the article pointed out.

  • William

    Good analysis. Thank you. This was one of those games where I don't have the zeal to go back and review the game play by play, but I enjoyed reading about it. Maryland should be a fun game, and hopefully, we will continue our dominance of the Terps.

  • Big D in Boca

    only one issue with this otherwise solid analysis - "It nixed a scramble that was Childress’ only shot at a michael vick moment". - why not use pat white for your example? we HATE michael (ron mexico) vick.

    • Allan Taylor

      Solid point, Big D. I deserve a "down" grade for that one. Enjoy Boca.

  • JHT

    I liked Childress. He seemed in colntrol of Offense. However, that was GSU, now comes a formable Division I opponent in the Terps. We'll see. I expect to see growing pains with the young man but i am optimistic for the future.

  • richard

    i don't think Root sports counts as national tv, and childress did just okay. his throws seem weak to me. wobbly and not concise.

    • jfk

      no, direct TV is not national TV but it is all over North America and parts of South America lol

    • Ragweed

      What the hey! I don't care if the 'Eeers were on the Podunk network. I got to hold down the lazy boy and watch them on TV. What's the big deal? Can't you air heads think of something important to talk about?

      • Could not watch them

        Because not that may fans outside of Morgantown's regional area could watch the game because of the ROOT sports network deal!

    • Bobby M

      GLASSES FRIEND! You may NEED them!

      I think your feeling a bit cranky today because why would you mention that Ford didnt play on national TV?! Why would you even bother?! The problem with this team is 2 things! As stock report reports - the OL is a PROBLEM! But I dont think this is coaches fault! I just think they need work! Maybe this is why Coach B left because the job was too big?!? Second problem - entire offense just needs to become well oiled machine like Geno and company. This offense just seems like there confused most of the time and THINKING to much! It will just take time until the lights come on upstairs!

    • Larry

      I have to agree with the part about national tv, this was on root pittsburgh, and was only on in a regional area, not the entire country.

      • Maxxajay

        @ Larry Fox on DirecTV on the 600 numbers has a football package wherever you live you buy that football package on DirecTV 600 numbers you can pick that game up in Alaska Florida Southern California and Maine wherever you go....

        • Larry

          Yeah, but it's a very limited amount of people who would actually subscribe to that, a national game is one that is on one of the big four networks, or ESPN and is shown across the country, like the Alabama vs Texas A&M game.

          • Scott

            Ditto, I live in Eastern PA my cable company did not carry the game. The local sports bar with 75 plus tv's and direct tv espn package could not get it either. The owner and I were very upset because he is paying $700 a month for the sports package!

    • Maxxajay

      Root sports is on DirecTV goes all the way across the country.. Channel 659..that is national

    • Graywv

      Roots is a sports network, that is picked up all over the country(Direct-tv, Major cable co.) The red shirt freshman first game was very good and apparently you didn't watch Mallard's throws the 2-previous games!

    • Bryan

      Rasheed Marshall repeatedly talked about how good his arm strength was during the telecast, but I guess the casual fan knows more than a good ex-collegiate quarterback would.

    • Alum

      Childress stated in another story here that he was trying to target the receivers and not put the ball down the field and let them run under it. He also stated that he would learn from it and put the ball down field. He has the arm strength, it's just a matter of him becoming more familiar with his receiving corps and both sides having mutual confidence in each other.

  • Maxxajay

    Very good report Allan... I can agree 100% with you..... As for Childress, personally I think he did very very well..First time large crowd,national TV...O line needs To improve a lot... Receivers Bigger hands more Stickam ha ha if the rules permitted, anything for help..., Love the Mounties

    • MountainMover

      Agree with Maxx.

      Allan -- You mentioned Sims's one catch for 10 yards. I remember when he joined the team there was a lot of talk, including from Holgorsen, about how he was an adept pass catcher making him a dual threat. They haven't really thrown to him all that much and it would seem to be at least one way to create more opportunities on offense. At a minimum give opponents more to think about and prepare for. Any idea why we haven't thrown more to him?

      • Allan Taylor

        @MountainMover: I think it's something the coaches are realizing in self-scouting. Sims is a natural pass-catcher and you'll likely see him targeted more on screens.

    • Maxxajay

      Would like to say something here These kids come out on the field to play football,,,, It doesn't matter what the name of the school it is or what conference they come from.... They know they have 11 kids trying to prevent them from achieving what they want to achieve.... They don't care how big or how small ..they are going to play the game the way they are told to do ... How many passes they make,how many yards they run... how many tackles they make, , And who keeps the ball the longest... And what quarter they score in and how many it doesn't matter.. They just want to perform good.... At the end of the game who has the most points on the board WINS ..... Play To win the game.... That is what goes through most of the kids head... Get better from game to game... As a fan I love to watch it... This is the greatest time of the year Football......