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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  • 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.

  • Harpers Ferry

    Today Holgerson showed why he deserves a lifetime extension to be our head coach. Sure, he may not win the games against the top 5 teams in the Big 12(10), but darn it, he'll get us to the Pinstripe Bowl, and that's good enough for me! Dana Haters, eat your hearts out!!!

  • richard

    lol, Eduardo. nice name calling. you are such an adult. coaching is why this team is 4-5. coaching is why we gave up 10 points in the last few minutes. coaching is why we won't go bowling. coaching is get the point. I know more football than you ever thought about knowing. I don't have to say why I do, because I know my background. you're the idiot for thinking this is a good coaching staff. they know football and know how to coach----but they aren't great coaches.......PERIOD. TIME WILL TELL THE TALE. I think I will be right. lol, jokers like you make me feel sorry for losers.

    • Mister Man

      So, you feel sorry for yourself?

    • J the C

      Richard, "dolt" is appropriate. Dwarf and old school...well stated.

    • Old school

      Richard, u are right about time, but i think every football coach should get 5 years. That gives them the chance to prove (or disprove) they can recruit the kids they need for their system and that the system (philosophy and coaching) works. Holgs has proved he is an exceptional offensive coordinator, whether he becomes an exceptional head coach remains to be seen, like u said, time will tell.

    • Red Dwarf

      Your Pitt team lost again. That's why you're mad. Besides, you're pointless childish rant discredited any point you may have tried, and failed, to make.

  • Indian Boy

    Great effort by the players, fair effort by the coaches. The kids decided somewhere in the 3rd quarter to pull it together.They executed much better and the play calling finally matched what we were capable of doing rather than forcing what we cant do. Good win. Maybe we can get to 6.

    • Shadow

      Two questionable calls against TCU didn't hurt either.

      • JimJim

        That sure didn't!

  • eduardo

    richard is an idiot. Coaching won this game for us. What a dolt.

    • Shadow

      I thought it was the refs on two questionable calls that dug WVU out of the dirt.

    • wvrefugee

      Wait a minute, I thought we couldn't blame the coaches for missed tackles, assignments, etc. and now we're saying the coaches won this game????? FAIL!

    • martinsburg resident


  • richard

    still gave up 10 points in the last 4 minutes. poor coaching I would say. shouldn't have went into overtime.

    • Red Dwarf

      richard, the goal of the game is to score more points than the opponent. WVU did that. What do you want? Eggs in your beer? A win is a win is a win.

      • J the C

        Dwarf, Richard is a Holgs hater, period!


    Good game. Great effort! Congrats Mountaineers!!!!

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Ole Sasquatch liked the blitzing pressure that started midway in the 2nd qtr. before the defensive backfield was getting beat on every pass up until then. Helping out was some good offensive calls involving Trickett rolling out to the right and throwing - a strong point for him.
    Add the special efforts of Sims & Cody's end zone runs along with other good team efforts.

  • Earl

    This kids deserved better Oline play all year, and I'm pretty sure if we'd had found more ways to give/get him the ball in previous games we woulda won atleast one of them. Proud to call him a mountaineer.