MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With a trip to TCU approaching, and perhaps a must-win game in terms of West Virginia’s fading bowl aspirations, the Mountaineers are hoping to have four injured starters cleared.
The injury watch is particularly critical on defense, where cornerback Daryl Worley (shin), middle linebacker Doug Rigg (concussion) and defensive end Dontrill Hyman (ankle) missed last Saturday’s 35-12 loss at Kansas State. All were listed as day-to-day by head coach Dana Holgorsen on Tuesday, as was senior center Pat Eger (ankle).
“What are you going to do about it? Not going to use that as an excuse—never have, never will,” Holgorsen said. “The next-guy-up mentality applies. Regardless of who the bodies are, they need to know what to do, and we need to coach them up to the best of our ability.
“Everybody across the county deals with this this time of year. Shoot, I imagine TCU would like to have their best pass-rushing defensive end available as well.”
Devonte Fields, the Big 12 defensive freshman of the year in 2012, was suspended for TCU’s first two games and appeared in only two others before suffering a season-ending broken foot. That loss is more devastating than any West Virginia (3-5, 1-4) has sustained, though the compilation of injuries certainly factored into the poor second-half performance at K-State.
With Worley missing, neither Icky Banks or Travis Bell could clamp down on Wildcats receiver Tyler Lockett, who racked up three touchdowns and 111 receiving yards. With Hyman out, Kyle Rose shifted exclusively to defensive end and WVU was forced to debut true freshman Darren Howard at nose tackle.
Then came the injury to Eger, sidelined in the second quarter when a K-State defender rolled onto his left ankle.
“We need Pat in there,” Holgorsen said. “Pat’s kind of the heart and soul of what we do up front. He probably won’t be able to go today, but we should be able to get something out of him (Wednesday).”
Sophomore quarterback Ford Childress (torn pectoral) has resumed light throwing, though Holgorsen said “he’s probably a couple weeks away” from trying to handle a normal regimen. Running back Dustin Garrison, who hasn’t played since Week 3 against Georgia State, continues to deal with an injured hamstring and could vein line for a medical redshirt. Backup linebacker Wes Tonkery, who previously missed time with a broken thumb, has subsequently been ruled out for the season with a shoulder malady.
Kickoff at TCU (3-5, 1-4) is slated for 3:30 p.m. Eastern in Fort Worth.