Mountaineers block two field goals, keep winning streak alive at TCU – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information and update from the team on Aubrey Burks.
West Virginia football players kneeled on the ground at Amon G. Carter Stadium watching a teammate leave the field on the medical cart twice Saturday evening.
First, it was Aubrey Burks in the second quarter. Then, it was Trey Lathan in the fourth.
Both injuries were sustained by key players in the Mountaineer defense. Burks is undoubtedly one of the emotional leaders of the team. Lathan entered Saturday night as the second-leading tackler in his first true season of college ball.
While both injuries surely hurt WVU from a depth perspective, both were followed by key stops and defensive stands, and became a rallying point for Mountaineer players on both sides of the ball.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Aubrey Burks and Trey Trey,” quarterback Garrett Greene said. “That’s the bad part about this game, is injuries like that happen – really scary stuff. But I’m happy [with] the way that our guys rallied around that. We won the game for them.”
West Virginia provided updates on both players following the game.
Burks and Lathan both stayed in Fort Worth overnight – Burks for further evaluation, and Lathan because he required surgery for the lower leg injury. West Virginia announced Sunday afternoon that Burks has been discharged from the hospital, and is walking under his own power.
“You hate to see guys go down, especially when you know how much work they put in,” said linebacker Lee Kpogba. “You never want to see one of your teammates go down, but we just used it as motivation tonight, knowing that those guys would want us to keep going, and just come out with a win. So, we just used it to motivate us to finish out the game.”
Rallying around the two significant injuries was discussed at halftime, and in the huddle on the field. West Virginia’s defense stepped up to allow just one yard of offensive to TCU in the third quarter, and shut out the Horned Frogs after halftime.
“The difference in the second half was we were playing for our brothers. We know our brothers that are hurt and in the hospital right now,” said Mike Lockhart, who came up with the first of two field goals in the fourth quarter. “We was like we got to win this for them, so we went out there and balled.”
Sean Martin noted that seeing Burks go down affect the team somewhat. Burks’ injury halted the game for nearly 10 minutes. He left the field with a brace around his neck, though initial reports after the game were positive.
Asked about responding to the injuries, Martin said, “You just got to tell everybody to keep their head up, just tell them to fight through. If he was playing, obviously he would play hard. So, we just got to keep playing through, no matter who gets hurt.”