At around 12:10 pm today the first game of West Virginia University's quarterback for 2013 and beyond begins against Georgia State University. The 6'5"- 234 lb redshirt freshman Ford Childress takes the reins of a very potent WVU offense that's been waiting for him. As coach Holgorsen alluded to in his pre-game press conference, this offense has more potential than last year's.
As Holgorsen frequently also points out, there is a difference between potential and results. That has been proven so far with junior Paul Millard at the helm. Dropped passes, errant throws and bad decisions cost the Mountaineers a winnable game in Norman Oklahoma. The coaches know it, the team knows it, I would imagine even the Stoops brothers realize it.
But even the best car rarely wins the race without the right driver. Put Kyle Bush, Jimmie Johnson, and any one of around half a dozen drivers behind the wheel of Danica Patrick's car and you have a winner. Not because she's a woman, because she is a mediocre driver.
Excuse the NASCAR analogy, but when it comes to being a quarterback I'm betting Ford Childress is the Mountaineers' version of a young Kyle Bush. Childress will screw up a couple of plays and probably even throw an interception. But otherwise he will show why he leapfrogged the other two quarterbacks and put up some huge numbers.
People will say it means nothing because of the level of the competition. That is not really true. Yes, the receivers will be open and yards after the catch will inflate his totals. It doesn't matter. What does matter is he will deliver the ball to those open receivers accurately. Just as importantly, he will find those open receivers.
WVU receivers were also open against Oklahoma. Millard either couldn't find them or get the ball to them. If he had, it would have been a game changer. The quarterback has done his job when the pass hits an open receiver's hands or is handed off to a running back. Until that point it's on him.
The young but confidant Childress may start out a little shaky, but then his talent will take over and get him into the flow of the game. And we'll talk about what might have been against Oklahoma.
The bottom line is the Mountaineers will finally put it together offensively to go with a good defense that will continue to improve. The right combination of personnel will make special teams as special as they should be. No matter what the final score is I won't be surprised. It will probably get ugly.
But I have a feeling that sometime around 3:30 pm under sunny skies and seasonably cool temperatures, Mountaineer fans everywhere will see a star being born. And it will indeed be a great day to be a Mountaineer. How do I know all of this? I did my homework.
Comments and/or debate welcome!