The Mountaineers soared to victory last week, the team defeated Georgia State 41-7.
Despite what the scoreboard had to say it was very clear during post-game interviews that offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was still very frustrated with how the offense performed. Dawson believes the team isn't playing up to its full potential.
"I don't think it's clicked yet," said Dawson. "As a group we haven't really clicked like I'm used to seeing."
There were multiple missed opportunities when the Mountaineers played Oklahoma in week two. Even though the Mountaineers coasted to a victory over a poor Georgia State team, the missed opportunities still crept up during the game.
"We had a lot of drives that stopped for various reasons that was frustrating" said Dawson.
One mistake took away an easy six points for the Mountaineers. Wide receiver Kevin White dropped a wide open touchdown pass from quarterback Ford Childress. Childress recognized that the missed opportunities from the Oklahoma game carried over to the Georgia State game.
"We missed some deep balls," Childress said.
Childress claims the team's been working on ironing out these kinks during this week's practices. Childress and his wide receivers are attempting to develop stronger chemistry before going up against a great Maryland defense.
"We got our timing down a lot more, "said Childress.
Even though Childress and his receivers may not be exactly where they should be the red shirt freshman still put up terrific numbers versus Georgia State. Childress was 25 for 41, had 359 yards, and threw three touchdowns and one interception. Perhaps the chemistry has really developed between Childress and Daikiel Shorts. Shorts caught two touchdown passes in last week's victory.
Having a great connection with just one receiver definitely isn't enough to pull out victories against solid teams such as Maryland. Being close won't cut it on Saturday.
"We're close at times, you can see the spark at times but there's something missing." Dawson said.
"I think it's just the fact these guys haven't played together very long."
A constant change of quarterback definitely isn't the way a quarterback and his receivers develop better communication. The Mountaineers are hopeful that the quarterback shuffle is over. If Childress is truly the answer to the quarterback position then the upcoming game against Maryland should be the start of better chemistry, communication and play from the offense.
"There needs to be cohesion with the group, I think that's our biggest problem right now," said Dawson.
Even though the Mountaineers had the lead going into the half during last week's game, they still appeared to be starting off slow. The team's looking to bring a lot of energy into their rivalry game against Maryland.
Dawson said that the team was experiencing a lot of energy in practice on Tuesday. Running back Dreamius Smith could feel the energy as well.
"We want to start it off with high energy," said Smith. "[And] Keep it going through Saturday."
The Mountaineers will need to approach this game against Maryland with a lot of energy. The Terrapins are 3-0 coming into this match-up. This "boarder rivalry" is sure to be a test for the Mountaineers and their new starting quarterback.
Maryland brings in one of the best defenses the Mountaineers will see all season. They cause havoc in the backfield and will be sure to make Childress feel uncomfortable in the pocket. There will need to be more than just great chemistry between Childress and the receiving corps. The offensive line will need to better protect Childress and the talented running game will need to show up ready to play in effort to finally get this offense where it needs to be.
"Hopefully we start gelling better," said Dawson. "We got to stay on course."
The Mountaineers will battle the Terrapins at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland and the game is set to kickoff at 3:30.