December 3, 2023

West Virginia’s strengths can be diminished and its offense and protection can be challenged when it returns to the sphere at 7 p.m. for a Massive 12 street recreation towards Houston. Sources inform EerSports beginning deal with Wyatt Milum and security Aubrey Burks didn’t journey with the group and won’t play within the first matchup between the 2 packages.

Head coach Neal Brown stated Monday that Burks was questionable and that it was too quickly to say if he was able to play after he was immobilized and carted off the sphere within the group’s final recreation, which was the Sept. 30 win at TCU. Burks was in a crimson jersey, which means no participation, at follow this week.

Milum was labeled a “recreation time choice” Monday after was poked within the eye and left the TCU recreation. Brown stated afterward that Milum wished to return to the sport however that his eye was swollen shut. “If it was a boxing match, they’d have stopped the struggle,” he stated. The additional time between video games did not do the trick. Milum was additionally in a crimson jersey in follow this week.

Additionally injured within the recreation was beginning left guard Tomas Rimac, who had a defender fall into the again of his legs on an extra-point try within the second half. Brown stated Monday that Rimac is not going to play towards the Cougars.

Burks is arguably WVU’s Most worthy defender given the state of the secondary this season because it performs a brand new model and blends in new faces, and the Mountaineers consider he has NFL means.

Brown has repeatedly praised Milum’s efficiency and notably makes use of the phrase “elite.” Milum enjoys the highest Professional Soccer Focus grade amongst regulars on offense and amongst offensive linemen is the chief in move blocking grade and trails proper deal with Doug Nester and Hubbard in run blocking grade. Rimac began the ultimate 5 video games as a redshirt freshman final season and by no means let a challenger threaten his function within the offseason. 

WVU does not have many choices at security and is anticipated to start out senior Marcis Floyd alongside switch Anthony Wilson. Along with Burks, WVU misplaced switch Keyshawn Cobb to a season-ending harm final month. Avery Wilcox is a walkon who has not performed towards an FBS group, and Aden Tagaloa-Nelson and Josiah Jackson are true freshmen.

Nick Malone, a former walk-on, is anticipated to make his first begin in Milum’s place. Ja’Quay Hubbard changed Rimac towards the Horned Frogs and is anticipated to start out towards TCU.

Malone has by no means began earlier than, however he is a high reserve who has crammed in for Milum beforehand this season and likewise performs as a good finish in sure packages. Hubbard began the ultimate 11 video games final season at proper deal with, and his familiarity with that facet is why he performed proper guard towards TCU and bumped the starter, junior Brandon Yates, to Rimac’s spot on the left facet.

WVU’s rising listing of accidents, which already contains notable names and season-ending situations, complicates the composition of a journey roster, which might have not more than 70 gamers for a Massive 12 street recreation. Coaches already needed to account for accidents, absences and departures at linebacker, cornerback and security on protection and receiver on offense.

Wilcox performs particular groups and traveled to the TCU recreation, as did Jackson and Tagaloa-Nelson, who’ve performed in a single recreation and are speculated to redshirt this season. The Mountaineers hardly ever make substitutions on the offensive line with out an harm and haven’t performed greater than two reserves in an FBS recreation. They’re prone to begin each reserves towards Houston.

WVU has no different safeties to journey with, and the one different defensive backs who can be found are walkons who’ve by no means performed. The spot Burks occupies on a journey roster can be crammed by one other place. 

The group took 10 offensive linemen to TCU and didn’t play walkon sophomore Bryce Biggs and redshirt freshmen Sullivan Weidman and Charlie Katarincic. Ought to WVU select to journey with 10 this week, the most probably replacements for Milum and Rimac could be true freshman left deal with Johnny Williams and redshirt freshman heart Landen Livingston. Redshirt freshman Maurice Hamilton has not been dressing for or touring to video games, and Nick Krahe and Cooper Younger are true freshmen who’ve performed in a single recreation and are speculated to redshirt.

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