Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL ; Shell's Status Still Not Certain for Texas Game

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL ; Shell's Status Still Not Certain for Texas Game

Article excerpt

WVU AT TEXAS When: Noon, Saturday TV: Fox Sports 1 Latest line: Texas by 2

MORGANTOWN - When No. 11 West Virginia plays at Texas on Saturday and attempts to use its running game to counter the NCAA's leading rusher, it might be without its leader in carries. Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said senior Rushel Shell will be a game-time decision. Shell, the normal starter who has 105 carries, was injured in the first half of a loss at Oklahoma State and did not play in last week's win against Kansas.

"We'll see how he practices, Holgorsen said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "Where they hand it to one guy 35 times per game, we hand it to three guys 35 or 40 times per game. Whichever guy feels good will be back there, and that's who we're going to hand the ball to.

Texas junior D'Onta Foreman leads the nation with 180.75 yards per game. He has 10 straight 100-yard games and has 65 carries for 250 and 341 yards and five touchdowns the past two games.

Thanks to Foreman, the Longhorns (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) are behind only Baylor in the Big 12 in yards and attempts per game, but everyone else but Foreman accounts for just 22.9 carries and 66.6 yards per game.

Shell had back-to-back 100-yard games for just the second time with the Mountaineers in wins against Texas Tech and TCU. Before last week, he was leading the team with 103 carries for 503 yards and five touchdowns. Without him, WVU finished with 341 yards and averaged 7.41 yards per attempt against the Jayhawks.

Junior college transfer Justin Crawford, who now has a team-high 587 yards, had 129 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Kennedy McKoy added 127 yards. Crawford had 87 yards and McKoy added 83 the week before when Shell was hurt against the Cowboys.

"Justin is playing like Justin, running backs coach JaJuan Seider said of the 2015 national junior college offensive player of the year. "Kennedy's playing like what I thought he'd be at this time of the year.

***

In addition to career-high totals from Crawford and McKoy, Daikiel Shorts and Shelton Gibson both had more than 100 yards receiving. Shorts caught one touchdown pass and Gibson had two. Quarterback Skyler Howard had 260 yards passing, 64 yards rushing and five touchdowns - three passing and two rushing. …

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