The Times West Virginian

Sports

August 27, 2013

Buie to redshirt this season

MORGANTOWN — A year ago, quarterback Geno Smith passed for 4,205 yards and 42 touchdowns.

He is gone now.

A year ago, receiver Tavon Austin caught passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for 643 yards and three touchdowns, returned 32 kickoffs for 813 yards and one touchdown, and returned 15 punts for 165 yards and one touchdown.

He is gone now.

A year ago, receiver Stedman Bailey caught passes for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns and returned kickoffs for 146 yards.

He is gone now.

A year ago, Andrew Buie rushed for 851 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the team in rushing.

At least he’s back.

Not so fast.

In a stunning announcement, West Virginia University coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday during his press conference, almost in passing in the midst of an injury report, that his leading rusher from a year ago would be redshirted this year.

That came on the heels of an equally stunning announcement Sunday night that last year’s leading rusher was the fifth running back on a four-deep depth chart, ranking behind three players who had never carried a football for West Virginia, let alone gained 207 yards on the ground in a stunning road upset of Texas.

On the surface that announcement would seem to indicate an end to Buie’s 2013 season, but you have to wonder if it isn’t the end to his West Virginia career, even though all through spring practice, summer drills and camp there was no indication that anything was wrong.

True, Buie has that redshirt year available, but three of the players ahead of him – freshman Wendell Smallwood, junior college transfer Dreamius Smith and junior Dustin Garrison — are back next year.

And that does not account for incoming transfer Rushel Shell, who gained more than 600 yards as a true freshman at Pitt after being a 4- and 5-star recruit out of high school.

It would seem very unlikely that Buie will return to WVU looking at more of the same in a year.

Holgorsen was asked how you handle telling a kid who led you in rushing the previous year that he had fallen so far he would not play this year.

“He had some decisions,” Holgorsen said when asked how you handle your leading rusher when you are dropping him out of the picture. “Some of these are decisions he makes, too. Did we force him to (redshirt)? No.

“Again, I’m looking forward to talking about Charles Sims, Wendell Smallwood, Dreamius Smith and Dustin Garrison. With that said, you just felt it was in the best interest of him and of our program to save his year.”

Funny. He didn’t mind talking about Buie after the Texas game last season.

“He’s just got to develop mentally and physically, and we’ll leave it at that,” Holgorsen said.

Develop mentally and physically? He’s a junior.

Holgorsen would go no further.

“I fully expect him to be ready to roll in the spring,” he said.

What really did happen is hard to say, but certainly a year ago Holgorsen did not have much to choose from at running back.

Garrison was coming back from knee surgery and not ready when the season started, and Shawne Alston, a bigger, different style back, was often injured.

Then bringing Charles Sims into Morgantown gave Holgorsen a different kind of back, a breakaway runner who is an outstanding pass receiver. The versatility angle is large in Holgorsen’s offense.

He also added a big back in Dreamius Smith and a speedster in Wendell Smallwood, the freshman who is fastest of the bunch.

“I think both (Buie) and Dustin Garrison have proven to be guys who have gotten experience, but any time you add guys like Charles Sims, Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood, it changes the dynamic of that room,” Holgorsen said.

Today, as difficult as it is to imagine, Holgorsen has more depth than he could have realistically wished for.

“We have bodies that can give us snaps back there, and I feel very good about it. I haven’t been able to sit here the last two years and say I feel good about it. I have always had about two or three, and now I feel like we have that depth, and I’m excited,” he said.

Text Only
Sports
  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time.jpg Texas’ Strong prefers not talking about national title

    Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
    The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NMHS hopes new playing surface generates excitement

    The St. Louis Rams coined the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” for their collective group or multiple Hall of Famer-caliber players in during the 1999-2001 seasons. If Rams can run on turf, why not Huskies? 

    July 22, 2014

  • FSU's Barfield, Jean-Charles named preseason All-Americans

    Chris Barfield and Jacob Jean-Charles earn preseason honors by being named to the USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American team.

    July 21, 2014

  • Baylor coach isn't buying schedule strength argument

    The College Football Playoff committee has vowed that strength of schedule will be a major criteria when selecting the four teams.

    July 21, 2014

  • Big 12 Commissioner says cheating pays

    Big 12 Commissioner says the NCAA lacks the resources to enforce its rules and that has to change.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos