"You have to be ready at any moment when your name is called," Buie said.
Buie had 31 carries against Texas and 25 against Baylor. That's the most in a two-game stretch for any West Virginia back since Garrison had 50 total carries against Bowling Green and Connecticut early in the 2011 season.
Alston didn't make the trip to Texas and underwent treatment on the thigh from Friday through Tuesday. Holgorsen wouldn't say what his status would be against Texas Tech, but the coach wants to get Alston and Garrison back to full health as soon as possible so Buie doesn't get too fatigued.
"The concern is the wear and tear," Holgorsen said. "The wear and tear is a little different on running backs than quarterback or a receiver or a corner or a safety that doesn't take that (hit) every time. He carried it 31 times, and he got hit 31 times. He blocks, which is hard, and he runs routes, which is taxing."
The 5-foot-9, 187-pound Buie was the starter entering the 2011 season but was injured twice over the first three games. He also had fumble issues and wasn't much of a factor the rest of the season while Garrison got most of the work.
In the offseason, Buie set out on a goal to build his strength and durability.
"I feel like I'm in a way better situation now physically than I was last year at this point," he said. "From this year to last year it's definitely like a 10-pound difference in my weight. My strength increased tremendously, and I think it shows now that I'm more physically equipped to play this year."
Quarterback Geno Smith has noticed the change in Buie.
"He's older and has got a lot of reps this year," Smith said. "We all go through those stages where the games are kind of too fast for us and we've got to get adjusted to the speed, but he's done that. He's doing a great job right now."