Redshirt freshman Ford Childress made his first start Saturday leading West Virginia (2-1, 0-1) to a 41-7 victory over Georgia State (0-3) and while many will look at various factors to determine how the debut went, head coach Dana Holgorsen was pleased with one aspect.
Childress threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns to go along with an interception, but it was his body language that stood out the most to the head coach.
"Thought he handled the huddle good, coming to the sidelines he was communicating whether it was the offensive line, the running backs, receivers, me, Shannon," Holgorsen said. "Thought he did a good job of just being in the game and that's what we're looking for."
That poise is something that the coaching staff noticed a week ago in Oklahoma when Childress was the player on the sideline that appeared to be the most calm during the pressure filled situations. That demeanor didn't change in his first start.
Childress won the job following Wednesday's practice and Holgorsen praised his freshman for not quitting when he was demoted to third string just a few short weeks ago.
"He doesn't let emotion get in the middle of that," he said.
The performance was one that was good enough that when asked if Childress had sewn up the starting quarterback position, Holgorsen replied with the following.
"If not then I'm not very smart. We just gave him 100-percent of the reps," he said.
Still there are areas that need improvement moving forward, particularly with the tempo that West Virginia struggled to get established late in the game.
"He's got to help us with that when he's out there. He's got to move us along, get people lined up and snap it," he said.
Overall, the head coach was pleased with the energy that his team displayed in the second half after getting out the gates slow against the Panthers. It was something that had been the focus throughout the week and the Mountaineers were able to accomplish that as well as get snaps for many of their younger players. Execution as a whole also looked better especially in regards to penalties.
At wide receiver, both Daikiel Shorts and KJ Myers stepped up to make plays after being demoted from their spots as starters earlier in the week.