By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Doug Rigg, who has played in 24 games, is among the veteran linebackers on West Virginia’s football squad.
The 6-foot-6, 242-pound junior from Oradell, N.J., is expected to start at sam linebacker against Marshall Saturday in the season opener here.
He forced a fumble at WVU’s 1-yard line in the Orange Bowl game against Clemson last Jan. 4 and Darwin Cook recovered for a 99-yard touchdown in that 70-33 victory.
“I feel like we’re improving every day,” Rigg said. “Even when we work with stuffed bags. That’s what we need to keep doing.
“Marshall is coming up real fast, and we’ve got to be ready for that game. I think we’re getting antsier about how fast we’re playing.”
He thinks WVU will play four to six linebackers against the Thundering Herd. They have been running a two-minute drill in fall camp.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys who are ready to play,” Rigg said. “If everybody stays healthy, that will help the rotation.”
Rigg said playing in the Big 12, he wouldn’t be surprised if as many as 95 plays are run because of the upbeat tempo of offense.
“We’ve got to be ready and get a call on defense before a play happens,” he continued.
“If we can get lined up right, we’ll make a play.”
He started in nine of the 11 games he played in last season as the Mountaineers finished with a 10-3 record.
Rigg recovered a fumble against South Florida in the fourth quarter that led to a game-winning field goal. He had a career-high nine tackles against LSU last season. That also was a season team high. Rigg played in all 13 games as a freshman in 2010.
For two seasons, he shows 19 solo tackles and 25 assists, 4.5 tackles for losses, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Rigg made the all-state team as a defensive star in high school.