West Virginia put up over 600 yards of offense and 41 points on Saturday under new quarterback Ford Childress. According to head coach Dana Holgorsen, though, he was monitoring other aspects of the redshirt freshman's play.
Holgorsen expects improvement with time from Childress.
"Completion percentage, yards per play and total yardage is something we look at, but… there were some other things I was interested in other than that," he said. "I thought his demeanor was good. He didn’t get rattled. We didn’t do a great job on some of our protection stuff. I was actually encouraged with him getting hit like that… he stood in there, it didn’t rattle him and he got right back up and went back to work."
Still, even with the solid showing - both in the stats and the intangibles - Holgorsen feels there is plenty of progress to be made.
"He’s got a long way to go," said Holgorsen. "He hasn’t played a whole lot of football. He played two years of high school football. This was his first game in college that he’s ever played, so he’s relatively raw. He’s got a lot of things he’s got to work on at the quarterback position."
How to fix that, and the issues with some of his receivers, is time, says Holgorsen.
"His continuity and his timing with the receivers, that relationship that needs to build between him and those guys is going to take time," he said. "Big Ford is going to have a chance to kind of settle the unknown at quarterback. We’ll go with him and try to continue to get better each and every week with him."
Holgorsen also took some time to rave about running back Charles Sims, not only about his performance on the field, but his influence off of it.
"He's just consistent; He's played in a bunch of games and has great experience," he said. "He's a well-rounded player and he's been good for our inexperienced, young backs."
"He’s just a real consistent kid, a hard-worker, a tremendous worker in practice. A lot of these young guys are looking toward him and saying ‘yea, that’s the way he does it, so that’s the way I need to do it as well.’"
Holgorsen says that getting more local games is something that is important to the school and that even more games will likely come onto the schedule in the coming years.
"It’s something that’s important to our administration. I know Oliver (Luck) is in constant talks with a lot of our former rivals," said Holgorsen. "We just got the series with Virginia Tech back up and going. There’s talks with Penn State; there’s talks with Pitt. There’s talks with Virginia."
Of course, this week's opponent, Maryland, is on the schedule - and Holgorsen says don't expect that to change anytime soon.
"Maryland is a huge recruiting base for us. It’s an important game for our fans. It’s an important game for them and their fans as well," he said. "It’s always going to be big in recruiting. It’s something our guys are fired up about. We didn’t have to motivate them much yesterday (at practice)."