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West Virginia’s Rushel Shell ruled out for second half against Oklahoma State

24 September 2016: West Virginia Mountaineers running back Rushel Shell III (7) catches a pass and is brought down by Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Matt Hadley (2) at FedEx Field, in Landover, MD. (Photograph by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

Undefeated West Virginia’s hopes of keeping their perfect record alive on the road in Stillwater has taken a huge hit with their starting running back ruled out of the second half. This is news that will not be welcomed by head coach Dana Holgorsen with his Mountaineers down 20-10 after the halftime break on the road to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Rushel Shell has been ruled out of the remainder of the game after suffering a first half injury. The senior has been knocked out of a game that is crucial to West Virginia staying atop of the Big 12 with the Mountaineers still hopeful that they can traverse the rest of their schedule on the way to a perfect season and a conference title.

Shell is the leader in rushing yards for the Mountaineers this season. The Pennsylvania product had 96 carries before Saturday’s game for 465 yards and five touchdowns as the workhorse back. His workload has been production that will now fall on the shoulders of the rest of the West Virginia running backs in the second half against a Cowboys’ defense that will look to defend a double-digit lead over the Mountaineers in the final two quarters.

Luckily for West Virginia, junior college transfer Justin Crawford was healthy enough to play with his own ankle injury going into the game and will be able to fill in for Shell for the final two quarters. Crawford has done well in his role as the compliment to the senior with 371 yards and three rushing touchdowns so far in his debut season with the program.

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