Last week, West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen announced that kicker Josh Lambert would be suspended for spring practices.
On Friday, we found out that the Mountaineers will be missing Lambert longer than originally thought.
Turns out, Lambert will not only miss the remainder of spring practice, but also the first three games of the 2016 football season. The suspension was actually reduced down to three games after first being slated for six games, following an appeals process by WVU.
A source told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that Lambert’s suspension stems from use of a banned substance.
This news throws off an otherwise successful college career for Lambert. At WVU, he has 68 career field goals and 337 career points, which are both in the Top 3 all-time at West Virginia.
As a sophomore, Lambert was as clutch as they came with a pair of game-winning field goals: one at Maryland and the other at Texas Tech. That year, 2014, Lambert set a NCAA record with 16 field goals of 40 yards or longer.
Last year saw a slight decline in his overall production, but he still connected on 21 of 28 field goals.
The loss of any rising senior is certainly a blow to the team’s efforts. However, Lambert is replaceable. Likely, Mike Molina will step in and handle the kicking duties. Molina, a redshirt junior from Hurricane, W.Va., has only played in five games with the Mountaineers. Last year, he saw an expanded role on kickoffs. The year before that, he attempted a few extra points.
In high school, Molina played in the state’s All-Star Game. He obviously is talented enough to be playing on a Division I football team, so we should expect no drop off in his performance.
The first three games are against Missouri, Youngstown State and BYU. That’s arguably one of the toughest out of conference schedules for a Big 12 team.