MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — His “Senior Day” at West Virginia could be one rife with regret. After all, Charles Sims left a Houston program that currently owns an 8-4 record for a Mountaineers team that is 4-7.
But Sims, much like his running style, keeps moving forward. He reiterated this week that transferring to WVU for his fifth and final college season was the right move.
“I feel good with the decision I made. I think I made the right decision,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here.
“I’m just thankful to be here with these guys. It’s the last time I’m going to be out there with them.”
Sims has established a single-season career-best rushing total this year and now needs just 54 yards Saturday against Iowa State to reach 1,000.
“He’s never had it,” said West Virginia running backs coach JaJuan Seider. “He wants it. It means a lot to him.”
Sims currently is tied for the team lead with 43 catches, a mark that tops all Big 12 running backs. His versatility has attracted NFL scouts even though it cost Sims a shot at the conference rushing crown. His 946 rushing yards trail only James Sims’ 1,028 at Kansas.
“You think about his career (at Houston)—he’s had 800 yards receiving and it’s the same thing here,” Seider said. “We spread them out so much that you don’t always take advantage of him enough in the backfield.”
The soft-spoken Sims admitted reaching the 1,000-yard mark “would mean a lot.” And particularly in a Dana Holgorsen offense, the running back said “that would be a great accomplishment.”
But coaxing much more self-lauding out of Sims is impossible. His primary aim for the season finale is beating Iowa State (2-9, 1-7) and sending the rest of the WVU seniors out on a winning note. The Mountaineers are 7.5-point favorites and need a victory (or a Kansas loss to K-State) to avoid a last-place finish in the league.
“I love these guys like my brothers,” Sims said. “We had ups-and-downs, but I enjoyed myself.”
The guess here is he’ll have another day to enjoy in a narrow win against the gritty Cyclones.
PICK: West Virginia 27-21
Ranking the weekend’s other Big 12 games: