Charles Sims' reunion with West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is off to a solid start, as the Houston transfer paved the way for a come-from-behind 24-17 win over William & Mary on Saturday.
Sims, rated by NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt as the top senior running back entering the 2013 season, rushed for a game-high 120 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. He also made one catch for 12 yards.
Sims spent the previous four seasons at Houston, where he was recruited by Holgorsen, who was the Houston offensive coordinator at the time. Sims was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2009 and first-team All-Conference USA in 2011, totaling 1,672 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns and 88 receptions for 948 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons with the Cougars. After earning his degree, NCAA rules allowed Sims to transfer to another school and play immediately as a graduate student for his final season. He chose to play for Holgorsen once more.
And the pairing appears to be a fortuitous one, as Saturday's West Virginia offense, replacing quarterback Geno Smith and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, looked nothing like the high-powered attack of a year ago. Sims was the only consistent option, as he churned out 67 yards in the first half behind an offensive line that looked overmatched early on.
With the Big 12 opener next week against Oklahoma, West Virginia has a long way to go, but knows it can at least lean on Sims.