Garrison made most of chances against LSU
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2011 16:09
Freshman running back Dustin Garrison waited for his chance to show Mountaineer nation his full capabilities in the West Virginia backfield.
On prime time Saturday night, in front of a sold out Milan Puskar Stadium and millions of viewers across the country, Garrison proved to the country he has the potential to be a legitimate force in the West Virginia offense.
He finished with 10 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, which got WVU within six points of LSU, right before the dreaded kick return.
"Through this whole season, I feel like I never really had my opportunity to show everybody, running the ball-wise," Garrison said.
"It just took the opportunity for me to get in the game and run the ball to show them that I'm serious, and I'm able to do things," he said. "I'm still working hard, I'm still running full speed and things like that. Whenever the game comes, things change."
Garrison did impress his coaches, something the freshman back will look to do on
a weekly basis from here on out.
"Dustin (Garrison) came in last week and gave us a half of really good football," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, at his weekly press conference Tuesday. "His production in one half of football was as good of a performance we've had in one half this year."
The Pearland, Texas, native knew his time would come, he just had to be patient and keep working hard every day in practice to get the opportunity to showcase his running ability on the field.
"You just have to be patient," he said. That's what I've been doing the past few games, just waiting my turn. Whenever my turn does come, I have to execute to the best of my ability."
The coaches knew he had good hands, and they made use of his catching abilities in the first few games more than giving him a greater amount of carries.
"I know Holgorsen is impressed with my hands, and he throws me the ball a lot," Garrison said. "I feel like I didn't have my opportunity to
show my ability to run (until LSU)."
The more games Garrison has been in, the more he has gotten comfortable diffusing each situation and letting the game slow down a little bit so he doesn't have to think as much. He can let the play come to him and hit the holes when he needs to.
But, it is still a learning process.
"You just have to go and practice with the attitude that you have to learn and that you're going to make yourself better," Garrison said.
When Garrison scored his 1-yard touchdown against LSU, he looked up to the screaming fans and saluted them, something that dates back to his high school state championship days.
"I just kind of brought that back out just to do it," Garrison said. "I don't know about (doing it) every time, I might switch it up a little bit, but whatever it takes."