West Virginia’s goal this week is to break its four-game losing streak with a win over Texas Tech, but head coach Neal Brown noted that the coaching staff will have an additional focus while preparing for the Red Raiders.
With four games left on the regular season schedule, Brown stated that West Virginia’s coaches will take advantage of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule by making sure athletes designated for a redshirt this season make their way into the team’s rotation during upcoming games.
Brown said his staff is still evaluating how to utilize certain players in order to maximize their playing time under the new rule.
“Really over the next 24 hours, we’re kind of making decisions about how we want to go about using those guys,” Brown said.
During his weekly conference call with reporters, Brown rattled off a list of newcomers who could see some playing time during West Virginia’s final four games.
Players like freshman running back Tony Mathis, who hasn’t played a snap all season, could be added into the rotation. Brown said Mathis could “help us” at running back, providing some relief to a position group that has been banged up — and has struggled — all season.
On the other side of the ball, Brown noted that freshman Jalen Thornton has improved in recent weeks and could play, depending on where the Mountaineers are “injury-wise” at that position. Thornton appeared against Iowa State.
Then, there’s quarterback Jarret Doege. Quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan said last week that the junior transfer from Bowling Green will move into a backup role this month. He hasn’t played a snap as a Mountaineer.
Under this revised redshirt rule, players can appear in up to four games while still maintaining their redshirt status and preserving an additional year of eligibility.
Listen to audio from Brown’s weekly conference call at the top of this page.