The Times West Virginian

Sports

September 9, 2013

WVU moving on from OU loss

MORGANTOWN — The good news arrived sometime after 1 in the morning Sunday via Twitter.

It came from West Virginia University linebacker Doug Rigg, who when last seen was being taken from the field on a backboard, his neck stabilized and fear of serious injury.

That he waved from the cart as he left gave signs of hope that the injury wasn’t as serious as it seemed, and perhaps that was the case, for this was the tweet he sent: “I’m alright thank you for all the support I am on the plane with the team safely I will try and respond back when we land.”

The word was that Rigg had been knocked unconscious after colliding with teammate Karl Joseph while making a tackle. He lay there motionless for several minutes and great care was exercised in removing him from the field.

“I think I hit him, unfortunately,” Joseph said to the media after the game. “I was trying to come down and make a play. I think I hit him around the neck area.”

WVU also lost sophomore linebacker Isaiah Bruce to a leg injury in the second half. There was no report as to the type or severity of his injury.

• Senior safety Darwin Cook played the Oklahoma game as if he were protecting his mother’s honor, which in a way he was, for during the week he indicated “my momma” was the only person thinking WVU had a chance.

Cook tied for the team lead in tackles with 11 in the game, added a fumble recovery and as spectacular a leaping interception in the end zone as you will see to preserve WVU’s chance to win the game.

Cook was tied for the team tackle lead with linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who also led the Mountaineers in tackles with seven in the opening victory over William & Mary.

The bad news was that Paul Millard also made a tackle. Quarterbacks are not supposed to make tackles, and if they do it can only mean something bad happened.

• Why has WVU had so much trouble offensively this year?

Certainly there are many reasons, but converting just 5 of 23 third-down opportunities in two games ranks high among them.

So, too, does averaging -0.5 yards per punt return.

• Not sure if having eight officials, as there were for the first time when WVU played Oklahoma was the cause of, as there was a lengthy delay while Rigg was attended to, but the game took 3 hours and 49 minutes to play.

• Yes, that was a huddle you saw West Virginia in Saturday night before running its play.

Dana Holgorsen went to it in part because Oklahoma was so familiar with his signaling system, including having last year’s offensive line assistant Bill Bedenbaugh on the sideline, that he feared the Sooners would know the plays better than his own players.

“I’m glad we did it. It slowed us down at times. It hurt our rhythm, but I thought it was the thing to do, and I’d do it again if I was playing them tomorrow,” Holgorsen said.

• Two games into the season and Pat Eger has played all the offensive line positions.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

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