Old Big East rivals Virginia Tech and West Virginia are locked in an entertaining defensive battle in Landover, Maryland. After one half of play, the No. 21 Hokies hold a 10-7 lead on the No. 22 Mountaineers thanks to a touchdown run from freshman quarterback Josh Jackson.
West Virginia’s Will Grier has been given some good protection from his offensive line in his first start with an FBS program since being suspended by Florida in 2015. Grier isn’t lighting up the Hokies defense, which very few players and teams are capable of doing anyway, so it has been a smart and steady evening of work so far for Grier with 15-of-24 going for 105 yards and a touchdown, and 13 rushing yards. Justin Crawford leads all players with 85 rushing yards for West Virginia, which is more rushing yards than Virgina Tech has as a team (68).
Virginia Tech has also broken in new quarterback Josh Jackson, who has had flashes of solid play as well. Jackson has also had to play efficiently for the Hokies rather than break open many big plays, but he has had his moments.
The story of the first half, however, has been the defenses. The hitting has been fierce at times, and the Mountaineers have exhibited something rarely seen from a Big 12 team by forcing three consecutive three-and-outs after Grier tossed a poor interception to Virginia Tech’s Trevon Hill. It wasn’t one of Grier’s finer moments.
But he did make up for it later in the first half with a touchdown pass to David Sills to give the Mountaineers a 7-3 lead.
Jackson led the Hokies on a nice touchdown drive to close out the first half, finishing the drive himself with a nice run up the middle of the West Virginia defense to reclaim the lead.
As evidenced by his play on the field last season, David Sills had the talent to make an impact on the receiving end of the passing game at West Virginia. In his mind, however, the sophomore still has the itch to be the triggerman of said passing game.
WVU announced in a press release Thursday morning that Sills has decided to transfer out of Mountaineers football program. According to a statement from Dana Holgorsen, Sills is moving on to an unspecified junior college “to pursue his dream of playing quarterback” at the collegiate level.
“We appreciate everything David has done for the Mountaineer football program. He has done everything asked of him and has been a great teammate,” the head coach said in a statement. “He has decided to transfer to pursue his dream of playing quarterback in college. We wish him nothing but the best in all of his future endeavors on and off the field.”
Sills was a three-star signee in 2015 who was rated as the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the country. He was moved to receiver, however, and caught seven passes for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns in eight games as a true freshman.
This spring, the Mountaineers allowed Sills to get work in as a quarterback.
“(Sills) is in the quarterback room now. He wants to be a quarterback,” said Holgorsen back in March. “When he’s out there – and we can’t be out there with him – but you see him go from quarterback to receiver drill and moves back and forth a little bit. We’ll let it play out and see how it goes.”
Sills is arguably best known for accepting a scholarship offer from then-USC head coach Lane Kiffin as a 13-year-old seventh grader back in February of 2010. He ultimately decommitted from the Trojans in June of 2014, a few months after Kiffin was canned.