Joe Sadlek/All-Pro photography

Clint Trickett’s 24-for-50 passing day netted 309 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a potentially season-saving win for West Virginia.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Because quarterbacks who live together keep few secrets, Clint Trickett was among the first to realize the severity of Ford Childress’s pectoral injury.

“Yeah, I kind of had an idea,” said Trickett, recounting the aftermath of West Virginia’s 37-0 loss to Maryland, an abomination of offensive football during which Childress tore a muscle in his chest.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

After Clint Trickett picked up the WVU offense, lineman Curtis Feigt returned the favor.

By the start of Tuesday’s practice, WVU’s coaches also recognized the debilitating impact of the injury when offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson noticed Childress “couldn’t throw a ball 10 feet.”

In went Trickett for three days’ of practice reps, given the mission of injecting vitality into a lifeless offense—and doing so against an Oklahoma State defense whose first-stringers had allowed only one touchdown in three games.

What was Trickett’s message?

“It was apparent through the first four games we weren’t really having fun on offense,” he said. “We were pressing and everyone was tense. So I was like, ‘Let’s go have fun. Let’s throw some deep balls. Let’s get it going.'”

That could have been the same pep talk Trickett gave himself after making only a brief, six-play cameo against William & Mary and then spending the past three games in complete absentia. With West Virginia ranking 108th nationally in scoring offense, many wondered what the Florida State transfer had to do to get on the field.

“It was tough,” Trickett admitted. “The media perception and the fans’ perception was that I was immediately going to come in and (win the job). I had chances to do it during camp—and didn’t take it.”

He finally took it Saturday afternoon while guiding West Virginia to a 30-21 stunner over OSU. Not a flawless day by any stretch—his first touchdown pass as a Mountaineer was offset by two interceptions, and Trickett compiled 309 passing yards while giving Dana Holgorsen roughly 309 aneurysms over various miscommunications.

“Clint did a great job keeping plays alive. He’s tough, he doesn’t get rattled and he gets out there and plays ball … (but) he does not operate the offense, though,” said Holgorsen, clarifying his reluctance to insert Trickett sooner. “The operations for me on the sideline today were very frustrating. I threw a couple temper tantrums, which I am quite embarrassed about. It’s just that the communication needs to get better. The relationship with me and him needs to get better.”

Holgorsen wasn’t alone in his exasperation. Just absorb this postgame snippet from his first lieutenant Dawson:

“There were some things we ran that we didn’t even work on all week. I don’t know what the hell it was, but it worked.”

Coaches aren’t fond of relinquishing control, yet Trickett’s moments of maverick magic helped animate this offense from the dead. He also animated himself after a fourth-quarter hit drove his throwing shoulder into the turf.

Trickett came out for the final play of that drive, but not before stubbornly trying to stay on the field for a third-and-10 play that became third-and-15 thanks to a delay of game penalty.

“Dude, if you get hurt, lay down,” Holgorsen said. “Let somebody come tend to you so we don’t get a delay.”

While Oklahoma State held the ball for the next three minutes, Trickett tried a painful-lloking warm-up throw on the bench. After doubling over in agony, he jogged off to the locker room, his right arm tucked close to his side.

“It hurt, but I went inside and got it evaluated, and it felt better after that,” said Trickett, who returned in time for WVU’s next series and threw three consecutive passes with his “evaluated” right arm. After waiting four weeks for his turn, he couldn’t relinquish the chance to finish off Oklahoma State.

“I wasn’t getting taken out of the game,” he said.

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Comments

  • Mike

    Wvu needs a quarterback!

  • Tyler

    Who cares we got the win!! Lets goo mountaineers!!

  • Jerry

    Big win for the DEFENSE. Their goal line stand in the second half will go down in WVU football history. In my book it is on the same level as the late sack that sealed Doug Flutey's fate in 1984. Best defensive effort I've seen in many years. Kudos to Charles Sims, Clint Trickett, Mario Alford, Cody Clay, Kevin White, Ivan McCartney, and Dreamius Smith for making plays on offense when we needed them. O-line still has a lot of work left to do.

  • Magic Mike

    Holgersen used to coach at OSU. He should know the system and used it to his advantage. Let's see happens next week.

  • Bryan

    Correction, he is a head coach. Head coach of WVU. And he my friends knows the team and what needs to be done better than any of us. So take it for what it is and move on, a hard fought victory over and done with, now to game 6.

  • Bill

    I've wanted to see what Trickett could do all season - 6 plays in the first game wasn't enough to truly evaluate him. What I did see good from him is his ability to STAY in the pocket and if necessary step up in the pocket, make the pass and take the hit and then step up for the next play. The O-line is protecting him just ok but in this game they failed to get running lanes for our RB's!!! As for our D . . . NOTHING BUT ACCOLADES FOR THAT BUNCH!!!! They did an outstanding job!!! As for our special teams - poor decisions on the kickoff receptions AGAIN! JD - needs to coach better and get those kids settled down! A fair catch inside the 5 yd. line is un-acceptable!! . . and twice in this game!!!????

  • eduardo

    Rick and susan f: So who do you guys want to replace Coach and lead us in the Big 12? You're not satisfied with blowout BCS bowl victories or upsetting #11 ranked teams. So whose your choice?

  • Justin

    Thank you defense for making the cowboys look bad. this is a great conference win especially after all the disappointing losses last year. definately need trickett to get better. he shows promise but made some really bad passes too.

  • JP2

    Althought a bit sloppy, WV proved they can hang with the big`12's big boys. Will this win carry over to Baylor ?? Time will tell. GO EERS !!!!

  • D.P.

    William - How great to hear from you-yeah right! It took you the biggest part of 1 day for you to post something negative! Those victories by the Mounties sure are tough on you, aren't they? Now get into your green Marshall nightie and crawl back into your cave for a couple of weeks you FRIGGING WACKJOB!!!!!

  • Rich

    Clint Trickett is tougher than a pine knot, now if he could just learn the Offense before Holgorsen kills him. And we have to get better play out of the O-Line!!!

  • will

    What is up with those yellow helmets??? They need to be BLUE!!

    • Tyler

      No

  • John

    I like the guts from the QB and I like the tantrums from the coach, as long as they don't become worse than they were during the game. Our QB can handle the tantrums, and it lets the team know that the coach is emotionally invested in what's going on. Sometimes the smaller nuances of the psychology can have a bigger effect on the whole package. When the game is over, fans and players alike have to look at it for the awesome roller coaster ride, not that every moment was fun but that the overall experience was great!

  • SPIKE BISHOP

    I Think Some Of You Need To Chill!! We Had A Gosh Golly Gee Coach And He Couldn't Get Us Where We Needed To Be. I Say Don't Look At Him, If He Bugs You. He's The Coach, He Doesn't Need Yours Or Anybody Else's Permission To Play Who Ever He Chooses. And Unless The Money People, The MAC Club Find Fault, He's Here Till The NFL Wants Him!!

    • Rick

      An NFL Caliber coach, now thats funny.

    • susanf

      This one hasn't gotten us there either; in fact, a long way from it! Funny how one win and suddenly everything is all sunshine and roses again. And Holgerson coaching in the NFL?? Ha! Now THAT'S funny!

  • William

    Dana YOU KNOW Holgersen got luck yesterday. Rest of the season looks dark and dim.
    This fantasy win will end quick against Baylor.

    Baylor 70
    Wvu 3