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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  • susanf

    So the reason Holgerson didn't want to start Trickett was b/c he didn't "listen" to him and follow his directions (to paraphrase what Holgerson said). Well, it seems to me that maybe the coaches should leave him alone and trust him a little more - he certainly got the job done, with NO help from the offensive line. And as for the play calls, I think Holgerson and his band of merry men need a tutorial on effective time management/plays. And perhaps some anger manangement counseling as well. His tantrums, throwing and breaking expensive headsets, and shooting off the F-bomb are no classy and certainly don't make him look very good and do not project a positive image for the team.

    • Carlos Danger

      Know what else does not "project a positive image for the team?"

      Losing 37-0 to Maryland.

      I've seen Geno's Wonderlic score. He's no genius. Holgorsen's the coach, and his system has worked EVERYWHERE. If a kid isn't catching on, don't blame the winning coach, blame the guy staring at him with his palms up.

      • Phfloydispink

        Yes, let's place blame where it belongs. SQUARE on the coach. The tantrum BS is just that. If the team were winning, there either wouldn't be tantrums or people would be laughing them off (look at Steve Spurier). The fact is, the coach is the responsible party and he is responsible for his assistants as well. What did Holgorsen do when his friend DeForest took over from Casteel and failed miserably? He gave him another chance at Specal Teams. How are the special teams doing? Failing miserably. We have played five games so far this year and ST suck so bad they could vacuum the turf and put Dyson to shame.

    • Concerned

      Dumbest comment I've heard in a long time. I'm sure you have lots of football experience since you don't think its important for the qb and coach to be on same page.

  • lee arthur

    Excellent game hope they can build on it.

  • Rick

    The only reason Trickett hasn't started was because of communications...that was holgersens reasons...holgersen on Childress..."he was a winner in High School...", He came from a QB family..." and thats why he's starting and "I evaluate them everyday, you don't..."
    We FINALLY got the QB we wanted, WVU is firing on all 8 cylinders, it's going to be fun to watch from here on out, NOW if we could just find a coach...back to the communications...if he is as good a coach as he thinks he is, he would have been able to adjust his communications and worked with the better QB vs working with QB's who had good communications but less skills...what else has he gotten wrong...That game was the best game of the week...go 'eers...

    • Jack

      Please quit griping about DH and OL, remember we ran off a guy named Bowden that turned out to be a big mistake, DH is playing a bunch of kids with little experience and look what they accomplished Saturday.

      • BH

        That was 45 years ago. Coach Bowden's subsequent success had as much to do with being able to recruit in talent rich Florida.

    • Pudge

      Not at all firing on all 8. The offense did just enough to get by. The defense held a very powerful offense in check and put up a touchdown of its own.

      Special teams were not good.
      The offense was lukewarm at best.

      • farm kid

        pudge special teams were terrible. maybe joe deforest has some money left over from his days at OSU and share it with the team.

        • Phfloydispink

          I was thinking that if DeForest had any money left over he might retire and let some real coach get a job.

      • Rick

        I agree but compared to the first 4 games the improvement was impressive...

        • Pudge

          Yep, at least there was an offense on the field this time.

  • Medman

    It was a great win and I was one of the naysayers based on the first four games. I hope my prediction for a losing season is totally wrong. But, some of you people need to grow up and quit this childish name-calling and making uncouth comments. After all, it is still a game and we should enjoy the wins quit the hate crap.

  • Robin

    Offense did much better. Defense is coming along but got lucky a couple of times with dropped passes. Special teams just stink.

    It was nice to see a little spring in their steps though. I don't think DH has anything to apologize for when it comes to tantrums.

    • bomotor

      Special teams were, once again, ridiculous. ST coach chest bumped returner for successfully completing a fair catch. Lame.

    • J the C

      I believe we dropped a few, also. D was outstanding! They chased their QB all afternoon

  • Janem

    Wow...I just seen The boys from ESPN just gave Clint Trickett a Helmen sticker great achievement.... Well-deserved for a well-done job ...

  • Tom


    • Bobby M

      I WAS THINKING SAME THING!!!!!! Gosh I really hope HE doesnt get an addictions PROBLEM like what happened TO farve!!!!!

      Well I just hope he has a recovered shoulder BEFORE the next GAME! What a tough TOUGH TOUGH and TOUGHER performance!!! WOW and WOWL!!!!! Hes out there playing on PURE pride and guts!!!

      That game was solid Rock N ROLL Rumble!!! I'm psyched OUT and ready for Baylor!

      Are YOU ready?!!? Are YOU ready!?! Lets get her ON!!!!

      • Larry

        What country are you from?

        • Bobby M

          You and YOUR gotcha-questions! I've figured IT out Larry! Not playing that game Friend!

          • Larry

            The hawk flies at night and the rock is hot.

  • Bim

    I admit that watching the game yesterday, it was hard eating crow with my foot in my mouth! Trickett brought football back to WVU not Holgy.

    • farm kid

      holgy FORGOT more football than you know about the game. my ash trays are smarter than you.

    • J the C

      Trickett did a good job for his first time, but it was Holgerson's victory. At least 10 of those points were not scored by the offense. But what a day and what a win! Haven't had that much fun since the Orange bowl.

    • Marcus

      Bim, I agree with you about Trickett!! Also the time management and play calling at the end was BAD!!! On that swing pass we are only up 6 points that is just a couple of inches from being picked and taken back for a touchdown!

      • Bryan

        So you would have tried to run the ball, which we couldn't do very well to use up an extra 45 seconds then punt up by six? Glad Dana is in charge, stay in tempo move the ball downfield kick the field goal now they need two possessions.

    • Brad

      You're an idiot,.. Don't ever talk in public.. You know ZERO about anything football related...

      • Bim

        You are brilliantly ignorant as your post has no understanding of my comment! Unless you are from Oklahoma.

        • Concerned

          Going to have to agree with brad here, dumb comment. Clint did alright, but he was average at best. Was he an improvement, yes. But he was not Tom Brady out there. Savior of WVU football? Clint gets all the credit? Seriously, u think coaching isn't important?

          • Phfloydispink

            If you left it totally up to the coaches, Holgorsen and and DeForest in particular, WVU loses, no question. Horrible special teams (except for the punter, and that's HIS talent not the coach's) and incredibly stupid clock management looked as if we were trying to throw this game. I was at the Maryland game. A junior high coach would have done better. It is unbelievable that Holgorsen can expect people to take him seriously while he keeps DeForest around. He proved in prior years that he was no defensive coordinator and now it is very evident he is no special teams coach either. Yet, Holgorsen keeps him around. Holgorsen may have been an excellent OC before, but it's certainly not showing now.

          • bomotor

            The savior was the defense. Tricks did just enough and Holgs tried hard to make it competitive with his awful time management.

  • BIG J

    Gutty performance by Trickett & the defense!! O-line&special teams WELL not so much. O- line STINKS!! Goal line stand by the defense was awesome.... turning point in the game!!! You could feel the air going out of Ok St sails!! Clint Trickett dug deep and played with a lot of heart,exactly what we needed!!! Good win in a very sloppy game!

  • WV07

    And How! Here we go boys....stay focused and go get em!!!!

  • WVU grad in S. Carolina

    ESPN analysts are talking about WVU's win over OSU and praising Clint Trickett's toughness. Showing WVU highlights for the first time this year. Like old times. I like it!!!

    • Truthteller

      Are you blind, Did you see the way they tried to spin it. They made it seem like the only way WVU won was by kicking a field goal at the end of the game. ESPN hates WVU. Did you not see the pre-game predictions? ESPN are SEC tools. ESPN does nothing but lobby recruits for the SEC because the SEC sends millions of dollars to ESPN to lobby for them and talk about how great the SEC is over and over and over. Dude you need a wake up call. KNOCK KNOCK it is reality calling but you never answer!!!!

    • Bkbear52

      Glad ESPN is showing some WVU highlights. Helps on recruiting. And I love making the ESPN crew and Game Day crew show their true superior knowledge of football. LOL They know Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame, and the SEC are the only teams that can play the game.

  • Dave

    No, they're eating crow.


  • Big Larry

    Your a idiot Larry.
    52 -0 osu.
    Fair weather jackass.

    • Bryan

      Shut up and go away, wvu did ok

      • tw eagle

        NO, you shut up bryan ... if coach Holgerson ever decides to drive a Ford again I want both you and him sent to Weston for some long term an in depth inpatient therapy.

        • Seth

          That's funny. I don't live in WV, but I have been to Weston and know what TW Eagle is talking about.

  • Big G

    Wow its amazing how there is no comments after
    all the comments the last several weeks. Guess the cats got there tongue :)

    • Magic Mike

      One game. Let's put a winning season together then I will be happy.

  • Big Larry

    I like Clint Trickett...He's a West Virginia kid!

    • Art in Ohio

      Nice words... You are not as bad a people think.

      I hope..


    • Steve

      I'm glad you finally like something about the mountaineers.