Ben Queen/WVMetroNews

West Virginia linebacker Jared Barber made 14 tackles against Texas before suffering a right knee injury in overtime.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jared Barber’s right ACL was torn as Texas scored Saturday’s game-winning touchdown. K.J. Dillon turned in his best performance as a Mountaineer only to spend the next two days in ICU suffering dehydration issues.

Add two more West Virginia defensive players to the gone-for-good heap.

The defense has become so mangled by injuries that nose tackle Shaq Rowell suggested, “We’re fixing to go to Rent-a-Center and start renting players.”

Barber and Dillon make eight injured players from the August defensive two-deep who were unable to play at all this season or unable to complete it. That extensive wounded list—linebackers Dozie Ezemma, Shaq Petteway, Doug Rigg and Wes Tonkery, nose guard Christian Brown and cornerback Nana Kyeremeh—partially explains why a unit that at times showed distinct signs of toughness now ranks 100th out of 123 FBS teams in total defense.

“But you can’t use that as an excuse,” said coordinator Keith Patterson. “Nobody cares, really.”

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

West Virginia’s K.J. Dillon celebrates after forcing a Texas interception.

In Barber, the Mountaineers lost their Will linebacker and team co-leader in tackles with 71. During the 47-40 overtime loss to Texas, the 6-foot, 233-pound junior made a career-high 14 stops and forced a fumble by stripping Daje Johnson on a first-quarter screen pass.

In overtime, however, as Texas fullback Alex DeLa Torre slipped out of the backfield for the decisive touchdown catch, Longhorns running back Malcolm Brown delivered a diving cut block to Barber’s right knee. He’ll be sidelined for six months, head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday—a timetable that would have Barber missing spring practice.

“It’s disappointing—he was playing at an extremely high level,” said Holgorsen. “His effort was great. His attitude was tremendous.”

The medical condition alarming Dillon requires close scrutiny, considering the sophomore’s diabetes puts him at increased risk of dehydration.

Losing Dillon for the final two games of the regular season—and a potential bowl game—robs the defense of a versatile safety/linebacker who had become more dynamic in recent weeks.

“He was able to play man, he was an explosive blitzer, he could make plays out in space,” Patterson said. “He could play deep safety or we could kick him down (toward the line of scrimmage).”

Against Texas, Dillon jarred loose a ball that Nick Kwiatkoski intercepted. He also rattled Case McCoy on two blitzes, leading to a deflected pass and an incompletion.

In replacing Dillon, Patterson could revert to a larger, more conventional Spur linebacker in Isaiah Bruce or the lanky Marvin Gross who’s currently the backup at Buck. In nickel situations, Dillon’s spot could be filled by Ricky Rumph or Brandon Napoleon.

In Barber’s absence, expect senior Tyler Anderson (46 career games with two starts) to split reps with rejuvenated junior Jewone Snow. A seven-game starter in 2011, Snow recently returned from a shoulder injury to join the special-teams units and blocked a Texas punt Saturday leading to a safety.

“A lot of people being thrown into the mix are going to have to step up—we really don’t have a choice,” said Kwiatkoski, Barber’s roommate.

WVU (4-6, 2-5) visits Kansas (2-7, 0-6) on Saturday at noon.

“We’re going to have to start calling teams and borrowing players or something. We’re looking kind of skinny over there on defense,” joked Rowell. “But seriously, we love (Barber and Dillon) to death, but this game is not going to stop just because they’re hurt.”

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  • pghmountaineer

    Thanks Troll.

  • richard

    lmbo.....janem has no clue what she is saying. god bless her heart.

    • Troll is back

      Actually unlike most with a few exceptions like, pghmountaineer, Rick S. and a few others, JaneM usually has good factual information not just the what I think mentality most post on here.

  • pghmountaineer

    Don, It's gonna be ok. Rumor has it Luck is thinking of giving Holgerson a long term contract extension to make sure he locks him up for the next 7 to 10 years along with his assistants.

    • j barber

      Why would you spout a lie like this? You have not heard this and you know it. I guess you needed the attn

  • don

    Are you serious? 3 to 5 more years of this humility before we can even be competitive in the Big 12. You call that having it under control! And as to the last 2 games this year I predict carbon copies of the last 2 games of 2012. Tons of points scored against a non-existent defense. Now,with more injuries the coaching staff has another excuse. Pathetic excuse for a D-1 school.

    • Troll is back

      Breaking news from ESPN, WVU first team in history to have 2 mediocre seasons in row. According to analyst school should just drop football as this has never happened before in the modern era of college football.

  • JaneM

    I realize( William ) Bill Stewart was a good likable person,good family man, good WVU person, .... But he was no head coach.... The games he was head coach of, was from RR time, Doc Holiday recruits... When Oliver Luck fired him he had 3 years of recruiting under his control ... Doc Holiday was the top recruiter... They lucked out with Geno Smith and Bailey, Austin landed in their lap from Maryland.... Then some JC players . From that point on( William ) Bill Stewart left this team in a mess...... Stewart's 9-3 ...8-4 seasons are from Rich Rod... The BCS victory was all Rich Rod Coaches... After that figure out the train wreck... Dana is patching it up ....

  • pghmountaineer

    My heart goes out to the injured players.
    Tough break. Hang in there guys.

  • pghmountaineer

    Some folks here need to relax. This coaching staff and our AD has it under control. They need about 3 to 5 more years to get their style of players in and then we're on our way.
    Bring on Kansas. 2 more wins and we're goin bowlin. Whoa!
    Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mountaineers!

    • Jason


  • squad

    severe dehydration ....out for the year?? huh???

    • Drew

      Diabetes man

      • squad

        wow.. so many young people have it now.. unbelievable that its so severe at this age

  • tw eagle

    if the excellent recruiting continues , WVU will have plenty of quality depth at all positions . . .
    in two years I can see an O line with 4 or 5 seniors starting , and when they leave , 4 or 5 new seniors will step right in. . .and they will all be capable and experienced as they move up . . .unlike now , with an experienced O line , the Mounties can dictate the type of offense they want to run , even without an experienced QB or a dominating RB . . .I've screamed and bellowed at Holgerson for many perceived faults , but his recruiting philosophy and abilities are "right on" . . .IF,
    Holgerson hadn't planned on running the ball down the UT throats , and taking a half to adjust to throwing short to open the running game , and that leading to the long ball . . .BUT , he's learning , and I can see WVU scoring a ton of points against Kansas and ISU . . .but with the injuries piling up on the D side of the ball , can the Mounties D keep their excellent play going ?

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

    • Rick S.

      The offensive line starters right now are three fifth-year seniors (Kindler, Eger, Feight) and two fourth-year juniors (Spain, Glowinski).

      • Jason


      • tw eagle

        I guess this a point . . .but these players haven't been playing / working together for long . . . Glowinski , is a junior who came thru a JC . . .Kindler, Eger , Feight and Spain are upperclassmen but have not played together as a unit except for this year , and I laud the abilities of all of them , especially for being able to play multiple positions with skill and confidence . . .the point I was trying to make was that CONTINUITY , carried from year to year will make the blocking adjustments second nature with an O line crew that has worked together for years . . .the O linemen redshirted this year will become 2's on next years depth chart , starting to pile up game time . . .and so on , and son . . .ect . . .

  • Joe Manchin

    No need to look further than how WVU recruits. Getting a cornerback with a high level of talent from high school is not something that they can do. It's always fair safeties or players that excel at other positions then after arriving at Morgantown the coaches teach them other needed positions. Kwiatkowski was signed as a top fullback. Sure he played defense but wasn't recruited for that then he arrives and switches to the defense. So far so good. Point being, until WVU can match the high caliber recruiting for the CB and safety spots as Alabama etc. we will always be oh so close but never at the top. Against Texas, every big play for them showed my point. Clueless and slow players on our D that you would never see happen with an Alabama type team... Rich Rod who I think is a jerk at least was able to find idiots like Pacman Jones and others like him who had a high defense level of talent. Maybe he paid them to come to Motown. If so, Dana needs to find a deep pocket booster and get the cash into these top recruits momas bank accounts...

  • Jason

    This goes back to my post the other day on another article. The bottom line is, WVU will never really be able to consistently recruit the DEPTH needed to compete consistently in the Big XII, their starters will probably be good, but it is a long season and injuries will happen to everybody. The difference is, when they happen to a team like Alabama, they have 2 other guys at EVERY position that can step in and not really have much fall off. The reality is, states that have the majority of the high school talent all have big time college programs in their own state, which more often than not will get dibbs on the top players. WVU/MU and teams from small markets will always have to catch a few top players that want to start soon and they will have to get players and develop them into productive D1 players, with a good weight program and good COACHING.

  • cutty77

    This happens when your defense stays on the Field twice as much as the offense. Allan here is question for you. How many plays has the defense played this year vs The Offense. I bet its almost 3 to 1.Is this right WVU defense is number 1 in the nation in Turn-Overs? This is and has been all year a Top Ten Defense,and THE WORSE OFFENSE IN THE COUNTRY.

    • Rick S.

      The offense has run 743 plays this season. The defense has been on the field for 762 plays.

      The average time of possession is 28:46 for WVU and 31:14 for the opponents.

      The WVU defense is tied for sixth in the country in turnovers gained, with 25 (Houston leads with 32).

      The WVU offense is tied for 118th in the country in turnovers lost, with 26. Southern Miss is the worst, with 32. Alabama, Kentucky, and Bowling Green are the best, with only seven turnovers each.

      • cutty77

        Thank You Rick for your solid Info.

    • WV07

      Cutty you obviously didn't read the article....we rank 100 out of 123 FBS teams. Hardly a "top ten" defense. our offense is ranked 82. Exact opposite of your claim.

      • cutty77

        Well Einstien you didn't read mine. I said this defense has played as a Top Ten Team. I said nothing about them being ranked in the Top Ten now did i. I did say that the people from Fox said WVU lead the nation in Turn-overs. I notice you didn't touch that.You are full of BS on The Offense ranking to. Stay down in Huntingtion.

        • WV07

          Look it up.

    • Art in Ohio

      I agree,,the defense is on the field more than it should be due to an offense that makes a ton of mistakes. Mistakes on our side of the field that result in lost games. The big issue next year is the QB position. Pick the person to lead the team in the spring and go from there. This decision will make or break DH...

      • cutty77

        Yes it will make of break Dana next year. This Kid Crist better be the one,because what we have now is terrible. These 3 OB's now are The Worse bunch that WVU has ever had.

  • JaneM

    It's hard to made it though a year of football with 2 players deep on most positions and that's what is happening with WVU ....You can thank nice guy good family man ( William ) Bill Stewart for that... He is the one who lelt the cupboard empty.... I have said it , trying to tell people about lack of players on this team and now it is really begin to show... The depth is there because there is hardly any juniors and seniors on this team ... A bout all is left our JC transfers (Junior and seniors that is )If you would had listen to Dana talk at the press meeting yesterday, He referred to being second in JC transfers..... It has been that way the last two signing seasons to make up of lack of players to fill up the gap..... Nice guy ( William ) Bill Stewart could have sign 10 more scholarship players in each of his last 2 years.... That is 20 scholarships people we could have on the team this year... That is what coaches call HEPTH me it is sickening to hear all the reclining chair , couch potato people, go on about firing the coach Who has never been to Morgantown in their life , Let alone watch the game live... I am sorry for all our defense players getting hurt Barber was one of my favorites to me he had icewater in his vains ..

    • James

      Sorry JaneM, but holgorsen has had 3 years to get his own recruits to WVU, by my calculations, that means he should have some juniors on this team, can't blame Stewart for the current coaches failures, Holgorsen has chosen to go the route of recruiting juco players, in his own words, he feels they give him a better chance to win now, I personally don't see it, either you are a family member, or don't realize that by year 3 you are suppose to start seeing improvement, well were not seeing any improvement, stop blaming Stewart for Holgosen failures, Stewart by far had the players respect, loyalty, and they loved playing for him, was he the best HC, no, but he was a loyal mountaineer that way lay his life in the line for this state, all Holgy does is make excuses

      • JaneM

        Sorry . ... Some people don't know, don't have any facts just say stuff off the top of their head. can't count or realize.... Dana has only had two recruiting classes and that is this year's freshman and last year players who are sophomores ... Juniors and seniors are what ( William ) Bill Stewart left .... That is a true fact ...

        • JaneM

          Also there is a big different from the small little Big East and the big and strong big 12

        • JaneM

          A lot of people don't realize the years that( William ) Bill Stewart had those wins was Rich Rods players with Doc Holiday recruits.... Also the BCS win was Rich Rods coaches... That's fact

        • Jon

          True, but no legit QBs to show for it. I would think he would have worked a little harder on finding a replacement for Geno.

          • Troll is back

            He's a receiver now at an FCS school if that tell you anything.

          • Drew

            I wonder what the kid that transfered from would have done

      • Troll is back

        Also if I may add Stewart (r.i.p.) is no longer the coach, RR is no longer the coach, Nehlen is no longer the coach..... The past is done, in the books, pull your heads out of the past and move on. Live for tomorrow not yesteryear. What you need to do is watch the Lion King, it will teach you a nice little lesson about the past and present.

      • Troll is back

        Not three years , is oldest class is only true sophomores /red shirt freshman, what juniors and seniors are on the team are from the previous staff.

        • Rick S.

          Paul Millard is a junior and was recruited by Dana Holgorsen and Shannon Dawson. There a few true juniors that were recruited by Holgorsen.

          But overall you are correct that the first full class Holgorsen recruited is now comprised of true sophomores/redshirt freshmen.

          I do not have the exact numbers, but approximately 53% (39 out of 74) of the players who dressed for the Texas game were recruited by Holgorsen. There is a margin of error of +/- six percentage points on that because I was unable to determine the recruiting head coach on a few players.

          • Jason

            Rick and troll...that was a good conversation. Thanks.

          • Troll is back

            The record I agree is not what it has been but I don't think the teams are any worse than what we have had in the past, in fact I feel we better over all athletes on the roster now than in the past it just comes down to the honest fact that we have stepped up in competition week in and week out. I believe this years and last years teams would easily have had 9 wins probably more, before you jump I know we took a beating to Syracuse in the bowl game but that was after a season we played where 4 of the teams finished on the BSC top 25 and one other only 3 spots out, had we still been the big east only 1 team in top 25.

          • Rick S.

            Over the past nine seasons, WVU has gone:

            2005 11-1
            2006 11-2
            2007 11-2
            2008 9-4
            2009 9-4
            2010 9-4
            2011 10-3
            2012 7-6
            2013 4-6 (with two games left)

            Going from an average of 10 wins per season to 5-7 wins per season is a huge drop off, record-wise.

            The defense went from being pretty good to absolutely horrible last season, and although noticeably improved this season, is still bad (100th out of 123 teams). The offense went from being really good all those years to below average (77th out of 123) this year.

            I am not putting any blame on Coach Holgorsen or on anybody else. I am just answering your question. People think things have gone down hill because the play on the field and the results in the standings have taken significant turns for the worse.

          • Troll is back

            Thanks for the info, I would also like to point out that Stewart had 27 wins after 3 seasons, RR 20 wins after 3 seasons and so far Holgorsen has 21 wins with 2 maybe 3 games left, so how then is it everyone thinks we have gone down hill so far?

      • Jason

        That is correct. Just ask Pat White.

    • JimJim

      So, the Dude couldn't get any players in three years. Well, next year will tell because they will all be the Dude's players. Stew, 9-3, 9-3 9-3 you can't change that!

  • Matt

    Agreed ducks

  • Ducks In A Row

    Who said football wasn't a contact sport? I hate to hear this. Let's pull together for the last two wins and play a bowl game. Hopefully, we'll have a much improved next year. Bama goes down first, ya hear? Bama goes down first! Let's Go!

    • Joe

      Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

      Go 'Eers!!

      • cutty77

        I like that Joe. No Pun,sorry lol