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September 16, 2013
Holgorsen's Take: Big 12 Teleconference
After reviewing the tape of quarterback Ford Childress's debut against Georgia State this weekend head coach Dana Holgorsen once again pointed to some of the things that aren't measured in the stat book that stood out in the redshirt freshman's first start.
Overall, Holgorsen was pleased with Childress's ability to communicate with the players in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage and get the Mountaineers in the right play call.
"I thought his demeanor was good, he didn't get rattled," he said.
Childress tossed for 359 yards and three touchdowns in his first game action, but it was his response to plays that didn't go well and how he stood in the pocket without being shaken that was encouraging to Holgorsen.
"He stood in there and it didn't rattle him. He got right back up and went to work," the head coach said.
The goal now will be to achieve consistency, which will be something that Childress "has a long ways to go," according to the head man. Because he is relatively raw, Childress will need to improve his whole gamut ranging from his footwork to continuity with wide receivers, among other things.
Holgorsen also believes he especially needs to take the next step forward in regards to his sense of urgency with getting the play calls in faster and moving the offense with tempo, but that should only continue to improve with more reps.
"The bigger the stage the harder that's going to be to make sure things are on par for what we're asking him to do," he said.
That stage becomes much bigger this weekend with the Mountaineers set to travel to Baltimore to take on Maryland inside M&T Bank Stadium. West Virginia has gotten the best of their border rivals in recent years, but the Terrapins are favored by 4 ½ points entering Saturday's 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
The matchup is always an important one for not only bragging rights but recruiting and the fan bases of both teams.
"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," Holgorsen said. " We didn't have to motivate them much when it came time to get back to work."
Charles Sims has been consistent through the early stages of the season and has brought a much-needed veteran presence to a running back room filled with young and inexperienced players. And because of his familiarity with the offense, it has allowed him to serve as an example for many of those younger options.
However, Holgorsen wants to be able to put him in position to make plays in the passing game as well.
"His production is going to be high if we give it to him all the time," he said.
Overall, Holgorsen said he is about where he expected the defense to be in regards of being ahead of the offense, special teams have been a bit of a surprise, while offensively they are young but Childress will have a chance to settle the unknown at quarterback.
"The end result is something I really don't know at this point," he said.
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