MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Sophomore linebacker Doug Rigg, who missed West Virginia's past two games after surgery to repair a broken wrist, is practicing.
"Now his job becomes to be better than the guys in front of him," Coach Dana Holgorsen said.
Rigg started the first four games as the strong side linebacker, but broke his wrist and continued to play against LSU. Senior Najee Goode moved from the middle to Rigg's spot the past two games redshirt freshman Jewone Snow has started in the middle. Snow has 16 tackles, a half-sack for a safety and an 83-yard fumble return to set up a touchdown in his two starts.
"Do you lose your starting job due to injury?" Holgorsen said. "Depends on how you play to get back. We're going to play guys that are playing their best. Whether it's injury or performance that somebody got better and beat you out, whatever that is, we're going to hold guys accountable for what their actions are."
Holgorsen already has proved his commitment to that philosophy. Running back Andrew Buie was starting before he was injured against Maryland. Vernard Roberts started against LSU, but Dustin Garrison first emerged with 92 total yards and a touchdown that game and then took over with 291 yards rushing the next game.
Buie is back, but still behind Garrison.
"Garrison went in and I was pretty happy with his performance," Holgorsen said. "He'll start now and it's Buie's job when he gets in there to take advantage of the opportunity and do what he's got to do to get himself ahead of (Garrison)."
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No. 11 WVU (5-1, 1-0 Big East) plays its second night game of the season at 8 p.m. Friday. The Mountaineers play inside the Carrier Dome against Syracuse (4-2, 0-1) in a game televised on ESPN.
The second road game is different from the first. WVU played host to LSU last month. Holgorsen tried to shorten the day by letting his players sleep until 11 a.m. and then backing up the schedule before starting with the pregame procedures.
Being at home on a day with plenty of college football on television helped the Mountaineers pass the time. WVU leaves early enough Thursday that it will spend much of the day in Syracuse. Holgorsen hasn't figured out what to do on a Friday in upstate New York.
"Everyone plays at night at times, but during a day where there's no football on presents a few more obstacles," he said. "I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do from noon to 4 p.m. We'll keep talking about that and try to come up with something to keep them occupied. We don't want them to just take naps."
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WVU MADE A move on the offensive line during the Oct. 8 victory against Connecticut and pulled right tackle Pat Eger from the field in favor of Quinton Spain.