MORGANTOWN — The way things are going for West Virginia’s football team, before this season is over, coach Neal Brown will be holding tryouts from the student body in general to fill out his roster.
Players are becoming that scarce.
On Tuesday, at his weekly media briefing, Brown announced what everyone has been expecting for some time — backup quarterback Jack Allison is one of two players entering the transfer portal.
Allison put his name in this week along with sophomore wide receiver Ricky Johns out of North Penn High near Pittsburgh.
“I love Jack,” Brown said of Allison, who transferred from Miami a couple of years back and served as Will Grier’s backup last season, starting two games, including the team’s bowl game.
Allison was beaten out for the starting job by Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall this year and has seen limited duty, completing 19-of-26 passes for 144 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
“He graduates in December and this is a decision he came to,” Brown said. “He’s been a great teammate here. He wants to play and I support that.”
Allison’s decision to transfer reshuffles the status of Jarret Doege, the transfer from Bowling Green who has been redshirting. It may signify the beginning of a competition between Kendall and Doege for next year’s starting quarterback job, although Trey Lowe III also remains in the picture.
“Doege and Lowe will compete for the backup job,” Brown said.
Meanwhile, little, if anything, on the injury report was uplifting.
About the only injured player who figures to play this week against Texas Tech in Saturday’s noon game is tight end JoVanni Haskins, who has had an injury that has kept him from running.
Other than that, the best Brown could offer was that some players were questionable.
To begin with, linebacker Quondarius Qualls’ season is over as he underwent shoulder surgery this week.
“Kennedy McKoy and Noah Guzman left the game on Thursday with injuries and I think they both are questionable. We’ll see how they progress this week,” Brown said.
McKoy’s injury leaves the once flush running back position in disarray; Martel Pettaway is already out as he has decided to take a redshirt this year after a sputtering start that saw him gain just 72 yards in 21 carries.
“Leddie Brown is going to have to play better,” said Brown of the hard-running sophomore who leads the team in rushing with 211 yards on 60 carries but who had a tough game at Baylor, gaining 27 yards on nine carries.
“Tony Mathis will get some playing time,” Brown said of the freshman running back who had been injured and will try to keep his redshirt intact.
Guzman was having a big game against Baylor, leading WVU with 12 tackles, when he left after taking a blow to the head.
“We knew we were going to need some depth at safety,” defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said of the decision to start him for the first time this year. “He took a blow to the side of the head, which is where you get most concussions from.
“He doesn’t have a bad one. He wasn’t cleared to play by the trainers but I don’t think he has had any issues with it. On the same play, he hurt his ankle and I think the ankle is a bigger issue.”
Top linebacker Josh Chandler, who missed the last game, is “questionable” according to Brown.
“He’ll work a little bit today and build up during the week. We’ll see how that goes,” said Brown.
Then there’s placekicker Evan Staley, who also missed the Baylor game with a leg injury.
“A lot of it depends on how he heals. Right now I’d say he’s very questionable,” Brown said.
Casey Legg, who made his first appearance as a placekicker in any football game last week — he was a soccer player in high school — would replace him again. Legg had a chance to tie the Baylor game but had a long field goal blocked after making one that was wiped out by a delay of game penalty.
“I’d liked to have see where the blocked kick would have gone if not blocked,” Brown said. “It looked like it was on target.”
Wide receiver T.J. Simmons, who was injured in the first quarter last Thursday, is listed as “doubtful” by Brown.
“I’m not saying he is out yet, but he’s doubtful,” Brown said.
Wide receiver Sean Ryan is making a rapid recovery from his shoulder injury.
“He’ll be out this week, but he’s getting close,” Brown said. “He’s just not ready for contact.”
Cornerback Dreshun Miller, who was injured much of the spring and this fall, is also out for this game.
“He is improving, but he will not go this week,” Brown said. “He’ll play this year, but he is not available to play this week.”
Oh, and safety Josh Norwood must sit out this week due to having been ejected for targeting for the second time this year.
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.