WVU football: Childress ruled out of season finale
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen will wait one more time to name the starting quarterback for Saturday's season finale, but he did say at his weekly press conference Tuesday that redshirt freshman Ford Childress won't play.
Childress, who started and set a freshman record with 359 passing yards in a win against Georgia State, was injured in his second start a week later against Maryland. Childress tore a pectoral muscle and hasn't played since passing for 62 yards in a 37-0 loss Sept. 21, though he had been practicing before the Nov. 16 loss to Kansas.
The quarterback for the 4 p.m. game against Iowa State (Fox Sports 1) will be Clint Trickett or Paul Millard. Millard started and struggled in the 31-19 loss to Kansas in place of Trickett, who had started six consecutive games before he was knocked unconscious Nov. 9 against Texas and suffered a concussion.
It turns out that was his second concussion in three weeks. Trickett said Tuesday he had a concussion in a loss to Kansas State and didn't tell anyone. Trickett said he wouldn't have told anyone about the concussion against Texas if it weren't so obvious.
"It isn't in my DNA to pull myself out of the game," said the junior who transferred this season from Florida State.
It's the second time this season a starting quarterback has been injured and declined to let anyone know he needed to come out of the game. Childress was hurt in the first quarter against Maryland and wound up completing 11 of 22 passes with two interceptions and visible trouble putting much power behind his throws.
"Hopefully you're a smart enough player that if it's going to hurt the team, you tell people," said quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who is in the coaches' box above the field during games. "I think that being a competitor and trying to stay in as much as possible, that's understandable, but at some point, it's big old team, little, bitty old me. You've got to understand that if your being out there is detrimental to the team, that's not fair to the other 10 guys out there. You've got to be smarter about that."
IOWA STATE (2-9, 1-7 Big 12) has known since losing its seventh game Nov. 2 that it wouldn't be going to a bowl. Yet the Cyclones played two home games after that. They played host to TCU Nov. 9 at 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the Big 12, but 54,922 showed up to see a game against another team with a losing record.
TCU won and Iowa State went on the road next and lost 48-10 to Oklahoma. The Cylones then played host to lowly Kansas last week and 54,081 were in the stands for the coldest game in the history of Iowa State football. Iowa State won, 34-0, on senior day for the first Big 12 win of the season.
Jack Trice Stadium seats 56,800.
"I can't tell you what it's meant, I can't put it into words anyway," Coach Paul Rhoads said. "We've set an attendance record for the third straight year. We were 0-for-the season at home going into it and it's the coldest weather conditions in the history of the program with a lot of football played in a northern state to accomplish that.
"I don't know what the exact numbers were, but there were a lot of fans there and they were into the football game, and for our kids to be able to go out and deliver a victory for the fans who came out and gave us support with the students gone for Thanksgiving break, that was uplifting and exciting for our football team."
THE CYCLONES spent much of this season looking for a quarterback. They found their starter for next season. Rhoads said Monday that Grant Rohach, who will start against the Mountaineers, will be the starter when Iowa State begins spring practice.
Sam Richardson started the first eight games, but Rohach has started the last three and led the way to the best offensive showing of the season against Kansas.
It was 8 degrees at kickoff.
"I don't think in Southern California he probably ever played in game like that," Rhoads said of Rohach, the redshirt freshman from Moorpark, Calif.
Rohach, who was the scout team offensive player of the year last season and invited to the Elite 11 camp a year earlier, completed 15 of 20 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first 300-yard game and the first time a quarterback completed 70 percent of his throws since last year's win against Kansas.
"Let me tell you, it was nothing short of magnificent," Rhoads said. "My appreciation for what he did with the football was really strengthened on Sunday when we watched the tape. The kid played a great football game. He was throwing strikes on a night that I didn't think it would be able to happen. It wasn't taking place very successfully on the other side.
"Three-hundred yards passing, (75) percent completion percentage, and it didn't matter if it was swing bubble passes or a post down the field. He was throwing them all on the money when hands were like cardboard and balls were like bricks. It was a magnificent performance."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-319-142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.