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Dana Holgorsen Press Conference: Updates On Adam Pankey And Several Key Position Battles

As the Mountaineers enter their mock-game week, several decisions have been made in key position battles.

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen met with the media earlier this afternoon for his first weekly press conference of the 2016 football season. Holgorsen addressed a number of topics, but perhaps the most notable is status of starting left guard Adam Pankey.

Pankey was cited for a DUI after rolling his vehicle last week in Morgantown, and Holgorsen announced today that he is suspended through at least the Missouri game on September 3rd. Fellow senior Tony Matteo will step into the left guard position in Pankey's absence, after being locked into a battle for the right guard spot with Kyle Bosch, with redshirt junior Grant Lingafelter filling the backup role in both guard spots.

Holgorsen went on to address various starting roles that have been up in the air, naming Marcell Lazard the starter in the right tackle role over redshirt freshman Colton McKivitz, but noting that McKivitz will likely see playing time at both tackle spots. Dana noted that wide receiver Gary Jennings will start the season at punt returner, noting that Jennings is the most dependable in that role and can "catch the damn ball." At quarterback, freshman Cody Saunders has been receiving a decent amount of reps and is in a battle with William Crest and Chris Chugunov for the backup position.

On the defensive side of the ball, Holgorsen confirmed that Jeremy Tyler will take the starting job at free safety, following the loss of Dravon Askew-Henry for the season, and that Jarrod Harper and Kyzir White will likely round out the other two starting safety slots. With the safety positions pretty much locked down, the cornerback roles are still an ongoing battle with six or seven guys that have a chance to get the start.

The Mountaineers will use this week as a mock-game week, going through the weekly routine, and will start preparing for the Missouri Tigers today.