We’re not even a week into the 2016 season and West Virginia is already thin on the defensive line.
Dana Hologrsen revealed Friday defensive lineman Xavier Pegues has undergone shoulder surgery and his return this season is questionable.
“He’s expected back around late October or early November,” Holgorsen told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “Whether he makes it [back to play] or not, I don’t know at this time.”
The Pegues injury comes on top of Jaleel Fields undergoing knee surgery, which will knock him out for the entire year. Fields appeared in four games as a redshirt freshman in 2015. Pegues redshirted last season after arriving from Itwamba Community College in Mississippi.
While neither entered the season as All-Big 12 candidates, the loss of bodies at a position that requires lots of them is a source of consternation for Holgorsen.
“It’s concerning,” Holgorsen said of his team’s defensive line depth. “We moved Jon Lewis over. We moved Chase Behrndt over. And we signed [junior college transfer] Brandon Lawless. We did that for a reason. We have nine bodies, but they have to stay healthy. Nose is a question mark, but [starter] Darrien Howard is a good player.”
West Virginia led the Big 12 in rushing defense and tied for third in tackles for loss last season, but finished eighth in sacks.