It's usually never a good sign when the biggest news story of an August week comes off of the field, as was the case with starting left guard Adam Pankey's DUI arrest two weekends ago. Today marked Dana Holgorsen's first press conference since Pankey's arrest and provided an update on the ongoing discipline for the Mountaineers three year starter at guard.
"(Pankey) is currently suspended from the team," Holgorsen said. "We hold these guys to high expectations and when you don't meet that then there are going to be consequences, so he's currently suspended from the team. We'll continue his suspension through Missouri and then we'll address it again after that point."
Holgorsen left the door open for a possible return against Youngstown State, but until then senior Tony Matteo will hold down the position, which is something that will be nothing new to the offensive line's sixth man.
"Tony's a fifth-year senior that was competing for a starting guard job anyway," Holgorsen said. "Tony was probably playing better than any of the guards for the first five or six days until he went down."
Matteo was out for a few practices due to an ankle injury, but now he is cleared for full-contact action. Matteo is not the only player making his return, as Holgorsen said Marvin Gross, Elijah Wellman and Trevon Wesco will be making their returns to the field in the upcoming week of practice.
Some other potentially big news that came out of Tuesday's press conference was that Marcell Lazard has secured a starting spot at right tackle for the opener against Missouri after Colton McKivitz had shined in August. McKivitz should still see plenty of game action though, as he can spell either Lazard at right tackle or Yodny Cajuste at left tackle.
Now that the depth chart appears to be mostly set and the coaches are starting to get a feel for different personnel groupings the team will start their preparation for Missouri. Holgorsen said the team will begin preparing for Missouri on Tuesday night, hold a mock game (which is different from a scrimmage) on Saturday and continue to prep all of next week until the 2016 season opens on Saturday, Sept. 3.
"Today we will start preparing for Missouri," Holgorsen said in reference to Tuesday evening's practice. "When the kids come in here today they're not going to know anything about Missouri. We haven't really started prepping them at all. I know a little bit about Missouri, but not nearly as much as what I'll know a week from now. The assistant coaches will have a good knowledge of Missouri.
"We'll start preparing and break up scout teams. We will introduce our opponent and teach our kids how to practice on Tuesday and how to practice on Wednesday, what the routine is going to be like on Thursday, travel on Friday, come in on Saturday and have a game day routine."