Sills Shocks Bears, Gives WVU Early Advantage As Mountaineers Hold On

Sills Shocks Bears, Gives WVU Early Advantage As Mountaineers Hold On


WACO, Texas – David Sills turned Baylor into his personal playground.

West Virginia’s wide receiver scored three touchdowns – including two in a 20 second span – in a Texas-sized showcase that should put the nation on notice that he’s a Biletnikoff candidate as the nation’s best receiver. Sills unleashed the full arsenal on Saturday, outjumping corners, beating safeties and besting even the two-deep coverage designed to stop him in a 38-36 win.

It started innocently enough, Sills schooling Baylor freshman corner Harrison Hand on a jump ball to the back corner of the end zone late in the first quarter. Sills took the 50-50 ball and made it 100 percent his, using his 6-foot-4 length to give WVU a 10-0 lead. At that point, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule has seen enough, thought he show was just starting. Baylor began layering a safety over top of Sills in addition to the corner often playing press man coverage.

West Virginia wide receiver David Sills scores on a long touchdown pass

The defense was designed to limit the deep ball opportunities Sills’ often feasts upon. But it removed a safety from run support, and also opened some of the interior routes in the passing game. With West Virginia ahead just 10-6 and the contest turning into exactly what Baylor wanted – namely a methodical, low-scoring affair – Sills lit up the defense twice in 20 seconds spanning both halves.

His first jolt was a morale-inflating touchdown catch up the seam with one second left before halftime. Lined up on the outside, Sills crossed with Marcus Simms and found room up the hashmarks. Will Grier threw a strike to the numbers, and Sills hauled it in between two safeties for the score. The catch capped a massive eight-play, 80-yard drive that took 64 of the last 65 seconds off the clock and put BU down 17-6 at the half with WVU assuming possession to start the third quarter.

Sills then delivered the back-breaker, a 53-yard catch-and-run off a slant pattern that was an exhibition of the position. Lined outside, Sills took a slant between the corner and safety and raced 43 yards to push WVU’s advantage to 24-6. It was a shock the Baylor’s system, Sills have dropped 14 points and a statement on the home team in less than half a minute of game time.

The receiver was never touched, angling away from defenders over the final 15 yards to secure his third touchdown of the game and 15th of the season. That’s six more than anybody else in the nation, and already second all-time at West Virginia for a single season. Think about that: The Mountaineers are just seven games into the season, and Sills is already ahead of all but one other wideout every to play at the school in Stedman Bailey, who caught 25 touchdowns in 2012.

It’s a story that’s been bubbling under the surface nationally, with pundits slowly discovering the wizardly occurring in Morgantown from the kid offered a scholarship by USC when in seventh grade. But that’s old news. What’s boiling over, nearly incapable of being contained, is the excellence Sills is showing despite playing the position for just 10 months on a full-time basis. Remember, last year at this time Sills was slinging scores for El Camino College in California.

Now, he leads – by the largest of margins – the FBS in receiving touchdowns while also amassing 136 yards this game and more than 730 yards for the season. It’s a tale deserving national play, but on this night be far more contained than it should because of the broadcast shift to FS2. Instead of a national splash, Sills’ performance might well be the best seen by the least. But no matter. In Act II of his career, Sills has five more stories to tell.