Hobbled WVU travels to meet last-place Jayhawks
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the first time this season West Virginia will be favored against a team from a BCS conference when it plays Kansas on Saturday.
But as banged up as the Mountaineers are, it's hard to imagine they are favored over anyone.
True, Kansas (2-7, 0-6) has lost 27 consecutive Big 12 games, but West Virginia (4-6, 2-5) has a medical list that looks like an emergency-room report.
“We are pretty beat up,” coach Dana Holgorsen said. “It's game 11, but I think everyone is beat up at this point.”
Linebacker Jared Barber, the team's leading tackler who had started the past seven games, was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in last week's 47-40 overtime loss to Texas.
“He was playing at an extremely high level, the effort was great, his attitude is tremendous,” Holgorsen said. “He's been one of the team leaders for us on defense.”
The Mountaineers also lost sophomore safety K.J. Dillon for issues related to severe dehydration from the Texas game. Holgorsen said Dillon, who had made four starts, spent a couple of days in intensive care before being released.
“He's on the shelf for the rest of the season,” Holgorsen said.
At the same time, it appears starting quarterback Clint Trickett will miss the Kansas game, too, having been knocked unconscious in the first quarter of the Texas game.
Backup Paul Millard is expected to start.
The defense, though, has taken the bulk of the hits this season.
Depending upon how you count, there are nine to 11 starters or potential starters who were taken from the defense over the season.
“I think I counted 15 guys on defense who are on the injury report, and 10 of those guys are out for the season,” defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said.
“You can't use that as an excuse. That's just football. It's a tough sport, and it's part of the game.” The defensive players out for the year are Barber, Dillon, Christian Brown, Dozie Ezemma, Nana Kyeremeh, Shaq Petteway, Doug Rigg and Wes Tonkery.
All of a sudden Tyler Anderson and Jewone Snow, himself victimized by injuries for most of his career at WVU, must move forward for the final two games as WVU tries to earn bowl eligibility and a .500 season.
Dillon's injury will be as difficult to absorb as Barber's.
“K.J. provided something for us because he was able to play man, he was an explosive blitzer, he could make plays out in space,” Patterson said. “He was a little bit more versatile and that's why he is tougher to replace. He could play deep safety. He could play man-to-man. We could kick him down and do some things with him.”
Bob Hertzel is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Brawl for ADs between Pitt and WVU
- West Virginia notebook: Trickett cleared to play in bowl game
- West Virginia athletic director Luck steps down to join NCAA
- Luck looks foward to new opportunity with NCAA
- WVU to face Texas A&M Aggies in Liberty Bowl
- Staten helps No. 22 West Virginia escape with win over Marshall