What looked to be one of the healthiest weeks of the season, suddenly turned into a mash unit last week as a couple notable players went down with injury just before Saturday's game against Kansas State. On Tuesday, Dana Holgorsen went through his injury report, starting with redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress.
Holgorsen had a long list of injuries to detail on Tuesday.
"Ford is still out," said Holgorsen. "He’s probably a couple weeks away. He’s healing and he’s started a progression. He’s started throwing and we’re going to increase his volume on a daily basis."
Along with Childress, running back Dustin Garrison (hamstring) and safety Wes Tonkery (shoulder) join the "out" list for this week, and likely the entire season. Pat Eger (ankle), Doug Rigg (concussion), Daryl Worley (shin), Dontrill Hyman (ankle) and Ricky Rumph (foot) were all listed as day-to-day by the Mountaineer head coach.
One of those injuries - Hyman's - led to some unexpected playing time for true freshman Darrien Howard, but Holgorsen says that was something being discussed long before Saturday.
"We pulled his (redshirt). He’s been getting better. He was a late (arrival) in camp. He got here midway through camp and he’s been progressing," said Holgorsen. "It’s been a weekly conversation for us for about a month. Dontrill (Hyman) was out, so we needed to move Kyle Rose exclusively to end…. So we made the decision to play him. He played about fifteen snaps and we look for him to play more than that this week."
Although his communication with quarterback Clint Trickett has gotten better, Holgorsen says the junior transfer's ability to read the defense and make checks at the line is still non-existent - and won't get better any time soon.
"That ain’t gonna happen this year," he exclaimed. "I’ve come to terms with that."
For that to change, Holgorsen says it will take some time, and he expects Trickett to be more prepared heading into next year.
"That’s 100-percent offseason," he said. "He needs to be able to take cut ups from the entire year without the pressure of trying to prepare for an opponent and just be able to sit in a room, study it and go outside and practice it for a couple months and then go all through all of spring ball and a whole summer."
That shouldn't play a factor in this weekend's starting quarterback decision, but Holgorsen was not definitive that Trickett was the man.
"I would think so," he said when asked if Trickett would start. "We'll go evaluate it today and tomorrow."
The offensive line was a hot topic and Holgorsen says that unit is no different than how he feels about others on the team this season.
"It’s like everything with our football team – the consistency is not winning football," he said. "We have been improving up front. Quinton Spain played the best game he’s ever played on Saturday. Pat Eger continues to get better. His first sixteen or seventeen snaps (were) really good, then obviously he goes down. (Tyler) Orlosky, (Adam) Pankey, Marquis (Lucas) are young. They are going to keep improving."
"In my opinion, Feigt and Kindler, they need to get better. I think they took a small step back this past week, and they know that. Their challenge is to go out there and get better this week."
After his comments yesterday about the need for better facilities as part of a plan to compete consistently in the Big12, Holgorsen answered one question about his stance, but did not wish to elaborate further, as it would lead to "a lengthy discussion."
"It affects recruiting, so the more glitz and glamour you can do, it affects recruiting. We do happen to be a part of a conference that understands glitz and glamour, and it being an arms race and all that. We got to be cognitive of that…. What I deal with on a day-to-day basis is what our players to on a day-to-day basis to get better, which is meeting, lifting, eating and practicing, so… if you take that, you can probably figure out where I’m going with that."