After snapping its 20-game road losing streak two weeks ago, West Virginia State had a rude awakening at home last weekend.
The Yellow Jackets lost to West Liberty 52-19, but had several players out with injuries, most noticeably on defense.
State defensive starters T.J. Austin (sophomore linebacker), Billy Wade (a sophomore linebacker from Brooke High School) and freshman linebacker Charlie Thompson missed the Hilltoppers game while nursing injuries and were replaced by freshmen. Also, starting quarterback Ricky Phillips started but missed most of last week's practices with a leg injury.
"The guys that we have in there have to play,'' said State coach Earl Monroe. "We thought we had those guys ready. Some of them were first-time playing.
"They did a good job, but they're not going to be as good as the other guys who have been in the fire. There were some formations and plays that were run that we needed to be adjusted in an out of and we didn't make the plays.''
Monroe said it was good experience for those freshmen backup players, who will also see time this week. The Yellow Jackets (2-4 overall, 1-2 WVC) will get another test at Glenville State (2-4, 2-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
"They'll get more reps this week and get the majority of the snaps from here on out,'' said the State coach. "Guys played hard, we've just got to be able to make adjustments. We've just got to get better and figure out how to get it fixed. Whoever is in uniform is going to have to be able to perform.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.