MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s updated depth chart revealed no Ronald Carswell on Monday evening, an indication the sophomore receiver might not be out of the doghouse in time for this week’s showdown against Texas.
Carswell was a scratch for last Saturday’s 30-27 overtime win at TCU, serving a suspension for the ever-vague “violation of team rules.” Coach Dana Holgorsen has not indicated whether the disciplinary action would stretch beyond one game.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Carswell was suspended for the much of his 2011 freshman season at Alabama. After spending 2012 as a redshirt freshman at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College, he leads WVU in yards-per-catch (20.6) this season, including a 69-yard touchdown against William & Mary that stands as the team’s longest pass play. He’s fourth on the team with 20 catches and has two touchdowns.
Holgorsen has prohibited any summertime enrollees from speaking to the media this fall, but before the season Carswell told his hometown newspaper that immaturity issues hounded him at Alabama.
“I won’t say I was cocky back then, but I was, let’s say, over-confident,” Carswell told The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph. “I didn’t think that anything bad could happen to me, and I still had a lot of growing up to do. I made some mistakes, and I paid the price.”
In Carswell’s absence, fellow junior college transfer Mario Alford started at the X-outside receiver and made three catches for a personal-best 62 yards.
Icky Banks loves the prospects of Saturday’s 7 p.m. kickoff and the emotion it promises to pack when WVU hosts one of the nation’s legacy programs.
“Ooh that’s going to be a good one,” said West Virginia’s junior cornerback. “You know how Morgantown gets at night under them lights. It’s something about playing for that home crowd—they light a fire under you.
It’s “Stripe the Stadium” night at Mountaineer Field, where West Virginia has gone 3-1 at home this season, splitting Big 12 games against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Longhorns, who opened as 8-point favorites, are loaded for revenge after dropping last season’s meeting 48-45.
“I know they’re coming in here with a chip on their shoulder after we went down to Austin and came out with a W,” said Wet Virginia center Pat Eger. “I know they’re coming for us and we’re excited.”
There are eight two-loss teams in the BCS rankings, the coaches poll and the AP top 25, but Texas isn’t among them.
On a five-game winning streak, the Longhorns (6-2, 5-0) hold a half-game lead on BCS No. 6 Baylor in the Big 12 standings.
“We’ve played like a Top 25 team enough in the last five weeks, in my estimation,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “We should be ranked, but that will start happening this weekend if we do our job.”
The affable Brown even poked fun at UT’s early-September losses to BYU and Ole Miss, which bounced his team out of the limelight: “What we’ve learned now is you can up and down real fast in those rankings.”