Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia running back Charles Sims (3) runs for a 31-yard touchdown as TCU cornerback Kevin White chases during the second quarter.


FORT WORTH, Texas — After the soft-spoken Charles Sims posted 189 yards of offense and scored two touchdowns Saturday, he was dubbed “the silent killer” by center Pat Eger.

His best all-around outing as a Mountaineer featured a 24-carry workhorse effort and more niftiness run the passing game, helping fuel West Virginia to a 30-27 overtime victory at TCU.

But WVU’s silent killer benefited from some noisy lobbying by his offensive linemen, who noticed TCU’s interior defenders playing a read-and-react technique. Down 17-3 in the second quarter, WVU went to its power running game immediate and impressive results: A three-play, 87-yard drive on which Sims ripped off runs of 29 and 31 yards, the second going for a momentum-turning.

“The two interior guys were moving lateral and not coming off the ball that much,” Eger said. “They were slanting a little bit, playing a little soft and trying to read it. So we got on the sideline and told Coach (Ron) Crook, ‘Run the power.’ And that’s what we did.”

Sandwiched between those two identical left-side power runs, came a play-action fake—off the same power run—as Clint Trickett hit Mario Alford for 27 yards.

The drive abruptly altered the timbre of the game, leading WVU on a run of 24 unanswered points.

Sims said his mindset was “just to keep the guys going” at a time when WVU’s season seemed to going into the sewer. “You just don’t want anybody to get down,” he said.

No better way to perk up the troops than traversing the length of the field in 62 seconds, as the Mountaineers did on that turnaround possession.

Sims caught a crucial touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, outrunning the defense 13 yards to the pylon on a quick screen.

In overtime, after TCU failed to score on its first series, Sims appeared to score the game-winning touchdown only to have it negated by a questionable holding call behind the play.

“I wasn’t worried, because I knew we still had the field goal,” said Sims, who moments later watched Josh Lambert push though the decisive 34-yarder.

“I think today we turned everything around,” Sims said.

No offseason recruiting effort by Dana Holgorsen was more consequential than luring Sims to WVU. Sure, the Mountaineers are only 4-5, but without Sims’ impact on Saturdays and his influence in practices, this season could be far uglier. Holgorsen hinted at this during his postgame assessment that the versatile Sims does more for his team than “any back in the country.”

That was the case against TCU, as Sims lined up in power sets, one-back looks, motioned into the slot and sometimes was split wide. He ran for 154 yards (averaging 6.4 per carry) and caught three passes for 35 yards (almost all after the catch).

“Well,” said Sims, “I just do whatever Coach tells me.”

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  • matt

    Its about time he shows us something. I was beginning to think he had poor vision. The line play has not been great but there has been wholes he has missed. Im still not convinced he is NFL caliber talent.

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    What would all have you said about Nehlen in '85 before two undefeated seasons?

  • TheRubiconInvasion

    Good day for Sims.....But I still think Smith is the best running back that I have seen on the field...he has the Quincy Wilson body type with much more speed...if he can work on the blocking and get the same amount of reps as Sims....he will shine...until then...I will keep Dreaming haha......

  • george

    You mean it takes players to tell the coaches what to run to win the game????????Sounds like we have a coaching problem...................

    • Jock Strap

      Every game in the country, high school, college and pro players communicate to coaches and suggest plays or assure coaches the can run particular plays, crawl back under your rock.

  • Big John

    I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • eduardo

    Thanks Bernie well said.

  • WV Bud

    Right on Bernie. Time will tell if Holgerson can do it, but it will take some time.Luck has WVU headed in the right direction.Just hope that when he has to be replaced, it is someone with at least 3/4 of his ability to look in the future and make the right decisions for the university.some fans only look at wins regardless of the opponets.9 and 3 in the Big East is not the same in the Big 12.At least we play the big boys now. When and if we get to a bowl in the future, we can be assured that we have played teams at least as good as our bowl opponet.

    • Richard

      WVU Bud, if the competition level has increased then what is an acceptable win-loss record?

  • richard

    time will tell. let's see if dana is still coach in 2 years. im pretty confident in that prediction.

  • Bernie

    From an "OLD" mountaineer many of you don't realize how fortunate we are to be in the Big 12. We now have financial means to build our program and compete with any team, even play for a National Championship. But it will take some time, because we were not ready to compete in this conference. I see some light (low) but getting brighter about this team and its future. 17 redshirts, recruiting better players, all of which will add up to wins. We have the most loyal fans who support this team! Be one or support another team. Look back at the losing records of both Nehlen and Rich Rod!!! Quit complaining and start supporting!!

    • J the C

      Bernie, I too am an OLD mountaineer and you are right on. I should also add that, unfortunately, money, or rather lack thereof puts us a disadvantage...for now. A Tech fan was heard to ask, "Why haven't you updated your stadium?" The kids look at this stuff. Facilities are vital to recruiting !

      • wvrefugee

        Yep, Tech has now dropped two in a row with a loss to Duke! Not sure updated facilities helped out there????

    • jb


  • Tim C

    This kid is the "real deal". I look forward to watching him play on Sundays.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Give holgy 2 years and we will be winning the big 12.he is learning too

    • JimJim

      Keep dreaming!

  • eduardo

    thanx wvajoker and Red Dwarf

  • eduardo

    Richards old lady dont give him no lovin'

  • eduardo

    Richard who do you want to hire as Coach? Lemme guess Jo Mama lol.

  • wvajoker

    Richard, you may have a football background, but I have found that knowledgable people to not have to sit on the fence and crow and belittle the rest. Those are the ones that are saying look at me, I know it all, but in actuality know nothing. Don't forget to be on the fence at dawn.