ON THE INJURY front, the Mountaineers played without linebackers Doug Rigg (concussion) and Isaiah Bruce (leg) and safety K.J. Dillon (knee). Nose guard Christian Brown left the game with an undisclosed injury in the first half and did not return.
Senior Tyler Anderson started for Bruce and freshman cornerback Daryl Worley started in place of Dillon as WVU used a nickel package to begin the game. That eventually created an opportunity for safety Rick Rumph to play more than normal in pass defense packages.
Bruce's absence also let the Mountaineers experiment with Eric Kinsey, who had been a defense end, at Buck linebacker. WVU played Kinsey and starting Buck Brandon Golson together at times throughout the game.
It was one of many changes for WVU. Holgorsen changed all three of his starting receivers for the game. Mario Alford, Ronald Carswell and Kevin White joined Worley and Childress as first-time starters.
Forty-two Mountaineers have now started at least one game.
"I told the team, 'You have to understand what your role is and be excited about it. If you're not excited about it, then change it. If you can't change it, then either accept it or do something else,' " Holgorsen said. "Injuries are going to happen. If you're a second-team guy, then you need to be ready to go in and be productive."
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HOLGORSEN HESITATED to play Childress previously because of the redshirt freshman's lack of experience interpreting signals and communicating with the sideline. Holgorsen said Childress handled that well in his debut, but the offense's tempo wasn't as fast or as consistent as it needed to be.
Childress said the offense is simple to run, but he also admitted he can struggle to read Holgorsen.
"It's difficult when Dana gives the signals really quick," he said. "That makes it tricky, or when he tries to be cute with the signs."
"He tries to hide them and stuff and he's got little, small fingers, so it gets kind of confusing," Childress said.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.