Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

With Ford Childress injured, Dana Holgorsen said junior Clint Trickett will make his first West Virginia start on Saturday against No. 11 Oklahoma State.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Ford Childress has been ailing with a torn pectoral muscle this week, meaning Clint Trickett will start Saturday’s game against No. 11 Oklahoma State, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen revealed Thursday night.

Childress was intercepted twice and threw for only 62 yards during a 37-0 loss at Maryland. Though the redshirt freshman noted soreness in his chest and arm during the game, Holgorsen said the injury didn’t appear problematic until Childress “woke up (Sunday) and could tell something was wrong.”

During two media sessions Monday and Tuesday, Holgorsen did not list the quarterback on the injury report and emphatically reiterated plans to stick with Childress as his starter. That plan apparently changed when Childress continued to feel discomfort and was unable to practice.

“He went out there (Tuesday) and tried to go and he couldn’t go,” Holgorsen said. “Wednesday he tried to go out there and practice and couldn’t do it, and then the same thing happened (Thursday).”

With Childress sidelined, Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson shifted practice reps to Trickett, the Florida State transfer, and junior Paul Millard, who started WVU’s first two games this season.

While Holgorsen’s offenses typically have been hyper-productive, WVU (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) currently stands 108th out of 123 FBS teams in scoring, 109th in third-down conversions and 89th in passing efficiency. The Mountaineers beat William & Mary 24-17 and Georgia State 41-7 but have scored just one touchdown in two games against major-college opponents.

“Offensively, we haven’t been lights out here—so maybe Clint can give us a little bit of a spark that can ignite the offense and do some good things,” Holgorsen said. “We’ll put him out there and see what he does.”

Trickett left Florida State last spring after it became apparent redshirt freshman Jameis Winston was the frontrunner for the starting job. Thanks to graduating in three years, Trickett came to WVU with two years of eligibility remaining.

Though he and Millard were listed a co-starters exiting preseason camp, Trickett appeared in only two series against William & Mary, going 0-for-2 passing as WVU posted back-to-back three-and-outs. During a 16-7 loss at Oklahoma in Week 2, Holgorsen contemplated switching to Trickett but ultimately stuck with Millard based on what he described as communication advantages.

Two weeks further along, Trickett is slated to become WVU’s third starting quarterback of the young season because the offense “is starting to make more sense to him,” Holgorsen said.

Trickett figures to have a difficult indoctrination with Oklahoma State coming into Morgantown as 21-point favorites.

“Clint may run with it and take it and we may win a big game here this weekend—we’re counting on it,” Holgorsen said. “If that happens, it’s going to put him in position to be our quarterback.”

The muscle injury isn’t considered season-ending for Childress, who despite committing three turnovers and completing only one pass to a wide receiver at Maryland, was Holgorsen’s initial choice to start a third consecutive game. With this week’s rest, Childress could return to the lineup as soon as next week’s game at Baylor.

“Ford obviously didn’t have a good game, but (the quarterback change) was nothing to do with what Ford did,” Holgorsen said. “He’s young and we knew there were going to be some bumps in the road.

“It’s a fluid situation. We may end up playing all three of them the rest of the year—I don’t know how it’s going to work out. We’ll see how (Trickett) does and then next week we’ll re-evaluate.”

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  • Barrett

    Ok state will not have to punt 4 times the whole game. Give me OK state and -40 points.

  • wvu1986

    There obviously was something going on btwn Holgs and Trickett... and yes ... based upon his response to that reporter ... he had his arm twisted to give Trickett the nod...and one would have to think that former NFL QB Luck had an opinion on who starts.

  • Ragweed

    One thing we all know is that no one knows what the score will be. I like to be optimistic, but it's difficult here with an unknown QB. What we do know is that the OL needs to pull their weight. With that happening, and no turnovers, a miracle might happen.

  • cutty77

    At this point Dana is doing whatever he can.This move may seal Dana's fate at WVU.Trickett wont make it to Half Time.

  • FungoJoe

    Memo to Dana Holgorsen:
    If you are going to stay at WVU any length of time, please take careful notes Saturday on OSU's offense. You are going to see a REAL Air Raid offense in action. Not the crap you are putting on the field this year.

  • pghmountaineer

    Phil M. Good point. The O Line has to improve. It really is on them. The running backs are very good and I beleive the QB's are better than average. If we can get the runing game going things could really look a lot rosier.

  • SamWV304

    The Qb situation and its uncertainty is all part of a mastermind plan. Holgs is no dumbass peeps. If they recruited Childress whn he was at Okst. THEY KNOW HIS WEAKNESS. SO plug in another wrinkle for them to hve to study( Trickett).seems awfully close to gameday to rethink gameplan.

  • Bill


  • Kel

    Conspiracy? Don't be silly. This isn't that complicated. Sometimes guys practice avg but are gamers when the lights go on. No one stood out head & shoulders above in camp - Millard has most experience in the system, he gets first shot. He flops. Childress has next most experience in the system and could possibly transfer, give him a shot. He didn't step up. Trickett won't transfer again & is still learning the system and we already know he isn't superman once he steps on the field or he would be starting at fsu. But with the other two hapless - what do you have to lose? With that being said, you don't smash the confidence of a 19 year old kid in the middle of a qb controversy. Say he has an injury, save face, and see if trickett can help the team while ford improves. If trickett stinks it up too and the year becomes an extended qb training camp, then you just ride it out with the youngest guy you have. Hail WV.

  • Phil M.

    Actually guys it's not on Trickett, Childress or Millard, it's on the offensive line. We have to run first to open up the passing game. Then we have to pass protect and give these QB's the time to go through their progression and then the offense will start to put up some points and yards. We have a great stable of running backs and competent QB's they need holes to run through and the passing lanes have to open up and the QB's need that 4-6 seconds to get the ball to the open receiver.

  • pghmountaineer

    Brandon. Good post.
    I'm pulling for these kids. We all know none of them want to loose and maybe, just maybe, Clint will get his mojo back and show that he should be the quaterback of this team. I think Ford is going to be a good QB, but for now, if this team has any chance of pulling off a wining season, Tricket has to be the man to step up and do it.

  • Phil M.

    WVU will survive this. We will come out the other side and maybe with Holgorsen or maybe not. What we must remember is that we are West Virginians first and foremost. Loyal to the Mountaineers no matter what. Remember what Owen Schmidt said after the win in the Fiesta Bowl. " I love this state and I love these people and this university." We must do the same, support these players and coaches no matter what. That's what make us unique and great. Loyal to a fault and forever Mountaineers, us against the world !!

  • Brandon

    Glad to see Trickett get his a Morgantown kid, this has always been his dream. He didn't even get an offer with the previous regime.
    That said, one BIG criticism I had of Holgs in the MD game was that he should have put Trickett or Millard in for at least one series and give Ford a chance to settle down, watch from the sideline to see what MD was doing, get some mentoring from the coaches (if that exists on this team) and then try going back in.
    Holgs was really being stubborn last game. Let's hope he's learned a lesson or two from that embarrassment
    Keeping it within 2 TDs will be a moral victory for this team Sat. But you never know...crazier things have happened....

  • jj

    Smallwood is the next Tavon Austin for us I'd like to see this guy take some of them short sweeps like Tavon and keep the defenses on their tip toes so we can go over top and I like Trickett he's what we need.

  • wvajoker

    Why does everyone want to be the coach?
    Why does William have so many posting names?

    • leroy jethro gibbs

      what does tw have against childress ? i dont get it , did he fool around with your daughter or something?

    • Larry

      For all anyone really knows, all of these comments could be written by two people, think about it.........................