MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia played without multiple starters Thursday night in its last-second loss to Houston.
At least one of those starters is expected to be back in the fold this week when the Mountaineers host Oklahoma State on Saturday.
According to head coach Neal Brown, starting left tackle Wyatt Milum is expected to return to action this weekend. Milum missed last week’s game due to an eye injury he suffered against TCU. Milum had started the first five games of the year before missing Thursday’s contest against the Cougars.
“I feel confident Wyatt will be back,” head coach Neal Brown said Monday. “He just needs another day or so. And I feel confident with that.”
However, WVU likely will not get both starting offensive linemen back this week.
According to Brown, starting left guard Tomas Rimac is unlikely to play against OK State. Rimac, a redshirt sophomore, missed last week’s game due to a lower leg injury he sustained against TCU. Ja’Quay Hubbard started in his place against Houston.
“I think Tomas is more likely to play against UCF,” said Brown. “But I think that would be the earliest, would be the UCF [game] for Tomas.”
UCF is West Virginia’s Week 9 opponent, and the next team the Mountaineers will face after taking on Oklahoma State this week.
Defensively, veteran safety Aubrey Burks returned to practice in a limited capacity on Monday. It’s his first time competing on the field since being hospitalized in the first half of the TCU game.
“Hopefully he’ll progress and be available,” said Brown, though there is no timetable for when Burks will be activated.
Additionally, junior linebacker Tirek Austin-Cave practiced Monday, but needs to continue getting healthy, according to Brown. The fifth-year head coach stated Austin-Cave has practiced “maybe like two days since fall camp.”
Austin-Cave suffered an injury in practice in the build-up for WVU’s Week 2 matchup against Duquesne. Monday was his first time participating in practice since that injury occurred.
One final personnel note is on running back Justin Johnson Jr., who did not travel with the team to Houston.
According to Brown, Johnson was out due to illness that forced him to miss all weekend. Brown did not state Johnson’s availability for Saturday.