MORGANTOWN - A lot of college coaches like to complain during the preseason about how many guys they see injured and on the sidelines as camp wears on, and it's inevitable that the list grows.
"It's camp,'' WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "When you practice this much and hit this much, that group of guys will probably get bigger.''
Rather than complaining about it, though, Holgorsen goes old school and is proactive. While some of West Virginia's injured players certainly do need time to heal, others just need a little motivation.
"The good news is that we've got five strength coaches over there that are really, really mean,'' Holgorsen said. "They work them hard. They really do, which is something I've always been [in favor] of.''
At West Virginia, injured players wear either green or red practice jerseys. The green-outfitted ones practice with the team but are generally held out of most contact drills, depending upon their specific injury.
The ones in red spend the entire workout over in a corner of the team's practice field with exercise bikes, medicine balls and all manner of other physical workout (read: torture) devices. A player with an ankle injury, for instance, won't spend a lot of time on the bikes, but will work on his upper body. Someone with a shoulder problem might get in a few miles on the bike.
"I'd rather be practicing than be over there,'' Holgorsen said. "They're over there for about two hours and 15 minutes and I think we only made about three of them throw up. And out of about eight that isn't acceptable. So we'll make at least 50 percent of them go down [during the next practice].''
Among the most notable players in red in recent days were defensive starters Julian Miller (ankle) and Darwin Cook (muscle pull). Cook was back on the field Saturday, although he was wearing green and was limited. Miller was still in red, as was running back Shawne Alston for the second day in a row.
Holgorsen said last week that he wasn't happy at all with how the backups were pushing the starters along the offensive line, but at least one position doesn't seem to have a starter.
Redshirt freshman Quinton Spain is listed first on the depth chart at right tackle, but that's apparently only because someone had to be listed first.
"We need a right tackle. That's the biggest concern right now,'' Holgorsen said. "We have about four bodies and we need one of them to step up. Those first four are doing good. They make plenty of mistakes, but the other six need to keep getting better. They're not a whole lot better than what I felt they were a couple of days ago.''