MORGANTOWN — The most meaningful thing to come out of West Virginia’s 41-7 victory against overwhelmed Georgia State (0-3) on Saturday at home was Ford Childress’ fine performance at quarterback.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound redshirt freshman from Houston, Tex., in his debut as a collegiate player, completed 25 of his passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns—two in the fourth quarter. He was intercepted just one time.
Several of Childress’ 16 incompletions, were passes dropped by receivers, including one which cost WVU a touchdown.
So misplays like those most certainly could make a damaging difference in any of the nine remaining games on the Mountaineers’ schedule.
Erratic pass-catching seems like a potential problem which West Virginia (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) did not have last year, thanks mainly to All-Americans Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Childress, who played Saturday’s entire game, surely deserves to start against what looms as a truly tough test—something Georgia State most certainly wasn’t.
If Childress can lead his team to a victory against Maryland (3-0), which is a long-time respected opponent, then he might well continue to be the starting QB as long as he remains healthy. The Terrapins defeated Connecticut 32-21 to stay unbeaten.
There are no more “gimme” games left this season for the Mountaineers.
Meanwhile, it does seem somewhat of a surprise that Coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff still appear to be experimenting going into Game 4. They were making as many as three and four substitutions at positions in between plays (but not at quarterback).
It was pleasing, despite the fact WVU led by only 17-0 after a struggling first half, finished with 604 yards in total offense last Saturday and had 83 plays. The defense held Georgia State to only a net of 220 yards and 51 offensive plays.
Childress’ only interception did kill a drive at the Panthers’ 25-yard line that obviously hurt. And, again, several of his 16 incompletions receivers dropped.