Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Linebacker Doug Rigg pressured Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh during WVU’s 30-21 win Sept. 28.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Darwin Cook has limped around for 10 days with an aching groin, and Doug Rigg was only recently cleared to practice after his second concussion. Two West Virginia seniors, each listed as questionable and each carrying strong intentions of playing Saturday in their final college football game.

“I knew (a concussion) was nothing to play around, but I told (team doctors) I had to at least give an effort to play this game,” Rigg said. “Even though it’s not really for anything—it’s just for playing my last game here—it would mean a lot to me to play this game.”

Rigg was carted off the field in Week 2 at Oklahoma after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit with teammate Karl Joseph. After sitting out one game, the linebacker returned to action only to sustain a second concussion in Week 7 against Texas Tech. Again he missed the following week’s game (against Kansas State) before being cleared to return for TCU, where “he went in for a couple snaps … and was in La-La Land,” said coach Dana Holgorsen.

After watching his teammates eliminated from bowl contention by a pride-sucking loss to Kansas, Rigg remains hopeful of making a Senior Day contribution against Iowa State.

“Obviously the Kansas loss doesn’t look good for the senior class, so we want to go out with a win,” he said. “We don’t want to lose to back-to-back teams at the bottom of the Big 12.”

Cook was injured in the second quarter at Kansas and stuck around for two more series before it became obvious he was incapable of running. On a 68-yard touchdown run, KU running back James Sims sped past Cook as the safety hobbled in pursuit.

Given time to heal during a bye week, Cook said he likes his chances of playing Saturday.

“I can’t miss this senior game,” he said. “I’m hurting, but you can’t miss the game.”

Between receiving treatment on his injury and preparing for Iowa State, Cook said he hasn’t take much time to ponder his legacy at West Virginia. Of course, part of his legacy will be as one of the best quotes on the team.

“I don’t want people to think I sucked,” said the fifth-year senior. “I ain’t trying to make them think I was the greatest player to ever play for the Mountaineers, but I just want them to appreciate what I did here. Any gesture that they give (Saturday) will be appreciated.”

Cook’s 99-yard fumble return against Clemson in a 70-33 Orange Bowl romp remains a career highlight.

“Yeah, that’s my best memory. I hope people still remember it when I’m gone,” he said.

As much as WVU enjoyed the Orange Bowl, the preceding 21-20 victory in the final Backyard Brawl meant more to nose tackle Shaq Rowell.

“I’m from Cleveland so I hate everything about Pitt,” he said. “Beating Pitt—I’ll never forget that.”

With no postseason reward on deck, West Virginia (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) might feel like the season was a failure. Despite all the work that went into producing a losing record, Rowell said he has savored the time with his teammates.

“Let’s be honest—football is easy,” he said. “The real life is hard and I’m about to step into it in two weeks.

“But I’ll be around this program as much as God will bless me to be around this program. Not everybody gets to be a Mountaineer. Only 85 players per year can be a Mountaineer, and I’m just blessed to be one of them.”

The game kicks off at 4 p.m. and Iowa State (2-9, 1-7) has nothing on the line either.

“It really sucks not to go to a bowl game this year, but I’m a true believer that everything does happen for a reason,” said West Virginia senior center Pat Eger. “To go back and give (the fans) our last game here, it’s going to be pretty special.”

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  • Neil

    God Bless you Seniors!!!!

  • wvajoker

    I think the underachiever is WVcoal as a WVU fan.
    He has been looking through his name too much and has his mind clouded. The only Mountaineer spirit that needs re-kindled is his own.

  • The Sarge

    This senior group kept the program together through all of the transitions. Best of luck to all of the seniors.

  • unclec

    Thanks guys always a mountaineer will be there sat lets go out with a big win

  • WVU_93

    Thank you seniors for all your contributions. Although your time on the field comes to an end Saturday, you will always be family. Best of luck to all of you against Iowa State and in life.

  • Alum

    Thanks Seniors. This is one alum that recognizes everything you have been through and thanks you for your efforts. Thank you again.

    May you be blessed and have rich success in your endeavors as you leave WVU and move into the next stage of life.

    P.S. Ignore WVcoal.

  • Jack

    These mountaineer players have been through a lot, coaching changes as well as conference changes. They will be remembered as football players that were proud to wear the uniform and represent the university regardless of the record. Best of luck to all as you begin your journey through life.

  • Tim C

    Give it your best shot on Saturday and you will endear yourselves to Mountaineer Fans or lose. But put forth another effort like Kansas and you will not be missed. A true fan will support a team losing IF they give their best effort and try hard. That is all we ask of you each and every week. Good luck, may the sun shine brightly on each of you as you enter the next phase of your lives.

  • Mister Man

    Thank you Mountaineers and good luck in your future endeavors.

  • Dave

    Shaq is right, not everyone can be a Mountaineer. Thanks for all the hard work you put in and being great representatives of the Old gold and blue and to the great state of West Virginia. Best of luck to all the Seniors in their careers.

  • DWM

    These seniors experienced a lot. They started with Stew, went through that transition debacle, and then have had the highs and lows of te Holgerson era. Though it all they have done their best ad represented us in a manner that we can be proud of.

    Thanks guys, we wish you the best!

  • tw eagle

    if holgerson can get his offensive ideas " in sync " with what the Mountaineers can give
    him , I see a very bright future for WVU
    football . . .

    the D side has the players , is building depth ,
    and will do nothing but improve . . .

    the "genius " that is devising the O and the
    game plans , needs to get the ball moving
    and scoring early in the games . . .because
    the " genius " is hardheaded , he doesn't like
    to admit that his "game plan " isn't working
    and waits till the Mounties are behind on the
    scoreboard and throwing fits before he starts
    to change the angle of attack . . .

    the D can and will work best when they can can be an attacking force , which usually doesn't work well when on the short side of
    the scoreboard . . .

    so , mister " genius " , as just a fan I have a
    better grasp on the O woes than YOU do . . .
    1) throw short to open the running lanes - this means more than one pass in the flat to a running back . . . 2) mix running plays in with the short pass game - quick slants and dive plays , not going wide - play action to enhance the short pass game . . .3) when the spotter reports that the safeties are taking their first step toward the line of scrimmage ,
    turn the curl into a post , and presto you got an easy 6 . . .NOW , pull your head out of your derriere my "genius " and get this WVU
    offense going in the right direction . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

    • Troll is back

      Let's try and keep these post relevant to the articles, it's about the seniors. Once more to the seniors I say thank you and good luck in your futures.

      • tw eagle

        oh , thank you , the great yoda of the bulletin boards . . .now go back and lurk under your bridge and try to scare the
        little kids . . .HA ,HA ,HA . . .

  • Troll is back

    Thanks to the seniors for representing WVU football and good luck in life.

  • Elliott

    Thanks for the hard work guys. This group has been through a lot. If there were more of you guys, there would have been more W's; this year and last.

  • WVcoal

    Underacheivers all. Let's hope next years bunch can re-kindle that great Mountaineer Spirit that his class has all but let die.

    • mauldawg

      How many college football games have you played in? My guess is none! Go back to your MU board. This board is for fans that follow the eers thru the bad times as well as the good.

    • rtdeco

      share with us the awesomeness of your life that allows you to be so critical of kids who have made great sacrifices to be a mountaineer. people like you who hide behind the internet disgust are a tool.

    • Steve

      You don't deserve to call yourself "WVcoal" because there is pride in WV Coal and there is no pride in you. Good Luck seniors and don't let idiots like this get to you.

    • Rock Solid

      @wvacoal: Don't be so down on the seniors! At least they tried once in a while to play hard, actually tackle and get off blocks. That is better than some of the other players who are underclassmen. Unfortunately it takes everyone being on the same page, at the same time to be a good team and we weren't. Playing hard every play is difficult and we just didn't have the right chemistry. God Bless all the seniors, I hope they have successful futures and realize their goals beyond football. That is really what is important!

    • big fan

      What a douche!!! Win or lose respect the men who put the uniform.

    • Joe

      Classless comment.

      • wvrefugee

        The "coal" in his name says it all!