Questions on both sidelines for WVU, Georgia State

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Mired in a search for answers, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has taken the keys to the rusty Mountaineers offense from quarterback Paul Millard and handed them to Ford Childress.

Childress, a redshirt freshman, will make his long-awaited debut today for West Virginia (1-1) when Georgia State (0-2) visits Milan Puskar Stadium.

It will be inexperience versus inexperience.

Opposite the Mountaineers is a Georgia State program just three seasons old and playing at the Division I level for the first time this season. This game means a $550,000 paycheck for the Panthers.

Georgia State arrives in Morgantown at the tail end of a roller-coaster week.

Scouting report

  • Matchup:

    West Virginia (1-1) vs. Georgia State (0-2), noon today, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va. The Mountaineers are favored by 40.

  • TV, Radio, Internet:

    Root Sports; Mountaineer Sports Network; Sirius 138, XM 191.

  • West Virginia:

    Despite not taking a snap in practice for three weeks, Ford Childress won the WVU's starting quarterback job this week ... Redshirt senior lineman Pat Eger will be making his first start of the season at center, taking over for Tyler Orlosky.

  • Oklahoma:

    The Panthers opened the 2013 season, their first at the Division I-A level, by losing consecutive games to Division I-AA opponents ... Georgia State coach Trent Miles spent the past five seasons turning around the Indiana State program.

  • Hidden stat:

    The WVU defense forced four turnovers last week, the most since a 70-33 defeat of Clemson Jan. 4, 2012 in the Orange Bowl.

After a 42-14 thrashing by Tennessee-Chattanooga last week in Atlanta, first-year coach Trent Miles dropped running backs coach Tony Tiller from his staff.

On Monday, Miles announced that two starting linemen, center Michael Davis and guard Harrison Clottey, quit the team -- a decision made "due to my loss for the love of football," Clottey said.

So here's a foe with seemingly more question marks than the Mountaineers.

West Virginia is coming off a frustrating offensive effort in a 16-7 loss to No. 16 Oklahoma.

"We had opportunities, no doubt," said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. "We had guys that we put in position to makes plays, and they need to step up."

The game will serve as the Mountaineers' final tune-up before starting the bulk of their schedule by traveling to Baltimore to face Maryland and then playing host to No. 12 Oklahoma State in a Big 12 Conference game.

For today, the quarterback controversy is closed. It's Childress' job for the moment. He will have his chance to start and, perhaps, usher in a new era of West Virginia football.


Stephen J. Nesbitt:, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.


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