The Texas connection was strong Saturday in Morgantown with two true freshmen getting their state on the stat sheet.
Dustin Garrison got the ball rolling in the third quarter with a 36-yard catch over the middle before scoring the first touchdown of his collegiate career a drive later on a one-yard run.
The pint-sized running back only touched the ball six times, but on those occasions, he took advantage of the opportunity, averaging over 11 yards per play. Unfortunately for the Pearland product, a penalty on his touchdown cut his celebration short as he and his teammates waited to see who had been called for an infraction.
It was Norfolk State – all's well that ends well.
As for the other Texan, the only one who's been so since birth, Paul Millard had a nearly perfect debut. Completing 5-of-6 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, he didn't simply come into the game to hand off the ball or take a knee. He ran the offense and ran it well, capping off a drive with a 30-yard touchdown to Bradley Starks on fourth down.
When Millard came to the sideline, he found a camera and said, "I love you, Mom. I love you."
This is perhaps the default for just about anyone who ever has a lens pointed his way on the sideline, but it's essentially the same as what Garrison did, too.
"Hi Mom, hi Dad – I miss you guys, hope you're watching the game," he said when I pointed a recording device his way.
As it turns out, Garrison's dad had been watching when the power went out and he ended up missing his son's first collegiate touchdown, but has since seen it from various angles on numerous replays.
For both transplanted Texans, the camera represented a way to share the moment with family unable to make the trip all the way to Morgantown.
Though if you ask those who know Millard, they'll tell you his late father was there with him every step of the way.