David Sills Explodes For Home Fans; Exploits Quarterback Synergy
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s become commonplace quickly, this sight of West Virginia’s David Sills entering the end zone. Since making his surprise collegiate debut and catching a touchdown pass against Baylor in 2015, Sills has had a knack of reaching the end zone. His final grab of that season provided the winning margin for WVU over Arizona State in the Cactus Bowl, and he picked right back up after a year’s absence with two scoring receptions against Virginia Tech. Of his 23 career receptions, seven have gone for touchdowns.
So, it was a bit surprising to realize that Saturday’s three scoring catches against ECU were the first that came on home turf. All but one of his career catches and ten of his total yards had come away from home prior to Saturday’s seven-catch, 153-yard explosion.
“It was great to get that under your belt. It was the first time I scored on Mountaineer Field, so that was a really great experience,” Sills recounted after WVU’s 56-20 win. He was on the end of scoring throws of four, nine and 75 yards, the last coming with just 30 seconds left in the first half as a backbreaker to ECU.
“It was a sight adjustment thing,” quarterback Will Grier said of the short scoring connection with Sills. “The way they were playing us, it was open. Sills saw it and got back to us. That was purely Sills; he can have credit for that one. It’s really funny. Every time we come off to the sideline, he will tell me a play that he wants that’s going to be wide open every time. He’s seeing some good stuff.”
Discussion of the synergy between Sills and Grier has been a major part of the run-up to the season, and it’s clear that even though the duo has been working together for just eight months, there is a special connection brewing.
“I think all the homework we have done through the spring and summer really showed with timing and chemistry with Will,” Sills recounted. “It’s really not just one receiver, but the whole group of us. Having Marcus [Simms] back adds another element to our offense, which is great. We have put in constant work over the summer and over the spring and winter. Will has great chemistry with all the receivers. He hit Ka’Raun on a lot of different timing routes and hit Marcus right on stride on that deep post. He’s in sync with Gary. It’s a full-time effort being in sync with each other and it showed. We will need that moving forward. The offense is at a great point right now and we are coming together as a team.”
The easy diagnosis for this connection is Sills’ history as a quarterback, which allows him to see the defense as the passer does. But there’s also something on Grier’s side — his status as a player who’s not just a protected pocket passer.
“A lot of people use the term quarterback for Will,” Sills explained. “He’s much more than a quarterback. He’s a straight-out football player. You saw that last week. Making plays with his feet and doing other things. He’s much more than a quarterback. He’s a ball player. That’s the difference with a lot of guys. A lot of people can throw the ball. A lot of people can’t make the plays when everything doesn’t work the right way. He does that.”
Sills isn’t about to rest on his laurels, which are many considering the short time in which he has actually played the wide receiver position. With that should come even better communication and connections with Grier.
“I still think we have a lot to work on, a lot we can get better at throughout the week. That’s what we are going to take from this. We are going to watch the film and get better at it,” he emphasized. “It’s about us. We need to focus on getting better as a team We don’t need to get comfortable. We have a tough stretch ahead of us once we get into conference play. It’s a continuous grind.”