Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Baylor QB Blake Shapen ‘not looking great’ to play against West Virginia on Saturday

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia got to know Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen very well last season. 

During an October game in Morgantown, Shapen shredded the Mountaineer defense, throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Part of the reason WVU was able to come away with the 43-40 victory was because Shapen was knocked out of the game with an injury.

The redshirt junior is unlikely to get a second shot at the Mountaineers this week (7 p.m./FS!) as Baylor coach Dave Aranda announced Monday that Shapen is dealing with a head injury.

“Blake has a head injury and it’s not looking great right now,” Aranda said. “We don’t have a final say on it right now so we’re still hoping, but it doesn’t look good.”

Shapen, who missed a couple of games earlier this season with an injury, has put up solid numbers for the Bears (3-8, 2-6 Big 12) this season, throwing for 2,188 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions. 

“I think the kid’s really tough,” WVU coach Neal Brown said. “I like his skillset, I really do. Because of what their record is, he probably hasn’t gotten talked about as much but the kid can play and he can spin the ball.”

Sophomore Sawyer Robinson would start if Shapen can’t go. He;s throw for 649 yards and one touchdown with four interceptions this season, playing significant snaps during shapen’s earlier absence. 

“He’s really excited,” Aranda said. “Talking to some of the guys, they’re excited about the opportunity for him too.”

DayDay’s Dancing

Following West Virginia’s (7-4, 5-3) convincing win over Cincinnati on Saturday, a video started making the rounds on social media of senior defensive lineman Davoan “DayDay” Hawkins dancing to The Pride of West Virginia’s rendition of ‘Celebration.’ 

It isn’t the first time a video of Hawkins dancing has appeared online this season as Hawkins seems to have captured WVU fans’ hearts during his first, and only, season in Morgantown.

“He’s exactly how he seems, he’s a really energetic guy,” linebacker Jared Bartlett said. “That’s just how he is all the time. On the football field, in the meeting room, outside of here, that’s just how the guy is.”

Hawkins, who transferred from Tennessee State last offseason, has been a key rotational player on WVU’s defensive line this season. On the year, he has six total tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack.

“DayDay is a big personality and I think that’s important to have, especially defensively,” defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley said. “DayDay is that type of guy and that never changes. Whether that’s walk-through or on the sideline, he’s the same guy all the time, he’s a high-energy, high-juice guy. A lot of fun to be around, I love having players like that.”

Aside from his role on the field, what Hawkins brings to the team in terms of energy seems to be just as important.

“When you have low energy levels that’s how teams come out flat.,” Bartlett said. “That’s how teams come out and get smacked in the first quarter and on the first play. Having dudes like that really gets the energy flowing and gets teams ready to play.”

Injuries

Brown feels good that the Mountaineers will get two offensive starters back at full strength this week. Running back CJ Donaldson and right tackle Doug Nester both dressed on Saturday against Cincinnati, but neither played large roles. Donaldson carried the ball just five times and Nester did not play a single snap.

“CJ did not practice (Monday), he will not practice (Tuesday), we’ll get him going Wednesday. We’ll use Doug in the same way to give him a little bit more time to come back,’ Brown said. “I think both will end up being ready to go. I’ll know more after Wednesday’s practice, but I think both will be ready.”

Right guard Brandon Yates left Saturday’s game and Brown said he is currently in a protocol with his status for Baylor uncertain.