Oct. 29, 2012
No question the Houston offense thrives on its passing game. However, it is the work by junior running back Charles Sims on the ground that provides the balance the Cougars needed offensively from the beginning.
“The offense is coming together really well,” said Sims. “The running game opens up a lot of holes and helps us move the ball down the field.”
Houston head coach Tony Levine has preached balance since the beginning of the year. This is exactly what play caller and quarterbacks coach Travis Bush has done. Along with the passing numbers, Bush has his offense running the ball for nearly 174 yards on 35 carries per game.
“The offense is a good group,” said Bush. “They get along well. You can see the closeness there and that pays off a lot. They worked together all summer and they were able to get a feel for each whether it’s running or passing.”
The balance the offense brings to the table would not be possible without the presence of captain Charles Sims. Halfway through this season, Sims projects to blow by the 1,000 yard rush mark and is on pace to become just the third running back in Cougar history to rush for 30 touchdowns.
“Charles is in a league of his own,” said Bush. “His attitude and work ethic has allowed him to separate himself to be that versatile player that he is. He is definitely someone we need to get the ball to because he is the best guy with the ball in his hands on our team and you can see that as we moved him from receiver to running back.”
Sims hasn’t just garnered the attention of his coaches. Through his hard work and dedication, Sims has caught the attention and respect of his teammates as well.
“He’s one of the hardest working guys on the team,” said junior wide receiver Shane Ros. “He just works. He doesn’t complain. He’s a shy guy and doesn’t talk much but when he does people listen because he’s got something important to say. Everybody respects Charles.”
Off the field, you would be lucky to get a few words out of Sims.
The shy and quiet veteran isn’t one to let his mouth do the talking. It’s on the field where Sims is vocal. Not with words but with his style.
“Two words describe Charles; ‘quiet confidence’,” said Bush. “He is the guy that I always refer to as Batman. He is so quiet and shy, but when he puts his helmet on he has this swag about him, making him a different guy with his helmet on. He doesn’t say much; he just brings himself to work every day and works hard.”
That “quiet confidence” has Sims poised for one of the best seasons by a running back in University of Houston history. At his current pace, Sims projects to tally over 1,200 yards on the ground and nearly 600 more through the air. That balance to his game helps to even out the Cougars offense as well.
“It puts a lot of stress on the defense,” said Ros. “When we spread the field they can’t just drop everybody into zone and not respect the running game because Charles will make them pay. He’s done a great job of that all year.”
With the talent and success that Sims possesses, an ego will usually come with it. After all, Sims was the one chosen to replace Case Keenum on the University of Houston billboards seen around the city. However for Sims, that is simply not the case. After redshirting his sophomore season due to eligibility issues, Sims knows that he is blessed with his talents and the ability to play football.
“He’s calm and humbled,” said quarterback David Piland. “He’s a lot of fun to be around and a lot of fun to play with.”
As for the billboards, as “BIG” as they are, the humble Sims is quick to play them down.
“It’s really cool to see myself on the billboards,” Sims said with a laugh. “I get a lot of phone calls and text messages from my friends about it, but I know how to handle it.”