Ben Queen/Metronews photo

Jordan Thompson made a crucial third-down catch in WVU’s upset of Oklahoma State in Morgantown.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As West Virginia’s football team swelled with pride and enjoyed feeling relevant again, two of Saturday’s main contributors punched holes in the euphoric aftermath.

“We just beat the No. 11 team in the nation and we didn’t play our best game at all,” said quarterback Clint Trickett.

What tempered his elation after the 30-21 upset of Big 12 preseason favorite Oklahoma State? Maybe it was WVU’s six three-and-outs, or the realization Trickett’s offense compiled the same number of turnovers (two) as it did touchdowns.

Senior safety Darwin Cook—only minutes removed from his game-clinching interception—waxed equally cautious about the day’s accomplishment.

“I’m really not that excited,” he said, “because there’s so much more to accomplish. We’re only what, 3-2?”

Against the backdrop of that buzzkill, here’s a unit-by-unit review of how the Mountaineers reached 3-2 and remade themselves into a team that’s no longer a gimme:

Though Dana Holgorsen prefers his quarterbacks make quick strikes from within the pocket, Clint Trickett’s scrambling improvisation helped jar WVU out of its slump. Finishing 24-of-50, his completion percentage suffered because of an insistence on throwing downfield (and three drops). The result was 309 passing yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a huge upset.
Though Oklahoma State netted only one sack, its pass rushers flattened, crunched and even punched Trickett throughout the afternoon. Emmanuel Ogbah, flagged for a late-hit jab in the first half, did more damage with a clean lick in the fourth quarter that drove the quarterback’s shoulder into the turf. Trickett missed one play, received a quick “evaluation” in the locker room during OSU’s possession, and returned to complete 6-of-8 passes.
“He’s a tough kid,” said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. “His mindset always was ‘I’m playing.’ He’s fine.”
The question for the coming week will involve how “fine” and how Trickett’s pitching arm responds.
Ford Childress’s availability for the near-term remains questionable. The redshirt freshman, according to Dawson, dealt with a strained pectoral for more than a week leading up to the Maryland game, then tore the muscle early in Baltimore but didn’t tell coaches. “The kid’s got an indented pec,” Dawson said. “He’s got a muscle that’s missing.”
Many of the 60 yards Charles Sims amassed on 18 carries were attributable to individual effort. He also was a factor receiving, with a team-high 82 yards on five catches. Most of those were of the quick-pitch variety, though Sims also hauled in a 38-yarder on the sideline between two defenders. (After making only four catches in the first three games, Sims has 13 the past two weeks.)
Dreamius Smith was limited with 5 yards on 10 carries, and Wendell Smallwood was downright invisible with only one rushing attempt. Despite WVU running a season-high 90 plays, the three-back rotation wasn’t in effect.
Fullback/tight end Cody Clay continued his emergence as an underneath receiver by gaining 27 yards on three catches—all resulting in first downs.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Ronald Carswell hauls in a 44-yard third-quarter pass as WVU beat Oklahoma State 30-21.
Rebounding from a one-catch day at Maryland, this unit made 17 receptions—highlighted by Kevin White’s first WVU touchdown. But in keeping with this season’s theme, West Virginia’s receivers continued to underwhelm.
With Trickett willing to unleash deep passes, the trio of Ronald Carswell, Ivan McCartney and White failed to make adjustments on deep balls, leading to two downfield interceptions. Carswell caught a 44-yarder behind safety Lyndell Johnson but missed out on another potential big gainer by keeping his hands waist-high as cornerback Kevin Peterson broke up the pass. WVU needs its receivers attacking the ball at the highest possible point. (Daikiel Shorts climbed the ladder on a sideline incompletion and wound up drawing an interference flag on Cowboys safety Shamiel Gary.)
McCartney let a would-be 35-yard touchdown slip through his hands at the goal-line and later left with a reported head injury. KJ Myers also had a deep pass elude him after tangling with a defensive back.
Carswell finished with five catches for 76 yards, while Shorts made five for 32 yards. Slot receiver Mario Alford got banged hard on a 40-yard sideline catch and subsequently departed with a shoulder injury. White’s lone catch was his 17-yard score on a slant route against OSU’s top corner Justin Gilbert, though White also caught a punch under the chin late in the game resulting in Gilbert’s ejection.
With three catches (for 30 yards), Jordan Thompson tripled his production from the first four games. He set up a crucial fourth-quarter field goal with a sprawling 17-yard grab on third down.
“How about Squirt? He finally made a play,” cracked offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, breaking the staff’s unofficial vow of silence on the 5-foot-7 sophomore, thus far known more for his spring game exploits than delivering in the fall.
Even an upset victory couldn’t conceal another spotty performance by the offensive line. West Virginia won’t win many football games—let alone knock off many Top 25 teams—averaging 1.7 yards per carry. Breakdowns in pass protection led Trickett to run seven times, none of those by design.
Still, the coaches probably saw enough positives to stick with the shuffled lineup of Quinton Spain at left guard and fifth-year senior Nick Kindler at left tackle. Redshirt freshman Adam Pankey, recovered from spring ACL surgery, saw his first playing time as Kindler’s backup and would have surrendered a sack if not for Spain peeling back to bump off an edge rusher.
Curtis Feigt had a holding call that OSU declined, and Pat Eger made his weekly errant snap, a function of the senior still getting acclimated to center.
“We moved some guys around,” said Trickett, “and I think we’ve got the right fit now.”
Nose guards don’t typically burst into the backfield and then make a tackle 22 yards downfield, but that’s what Shaq Rowell did on a second-quarter run by Desmond Roland. It speaks to Rowell’s conditioning and effort on a six-tackle day that included 1.5 TFLs.
“I was tired of everybody, including y’all (the media), predicting us to lose,” Rowell said. “We deserved that, though. But if we come together, we can win plenty more games.”
Defensive end Will Clarke has become a load on the edge, compromising the backfield so frequently he might unofficially lead the nation in missed sacks. “The last three weeks he has really turned it on,” said defensive line coach Erik Slaughter.

Joe Sadlek/All-Pro photography

Jared Barber (33), Kyle Rose (93) and Will Clarke (98) take down Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith, who managed 1 yard on 15 carries
While Clarke made six tackles and forced a holding call, opposite end Dontrill Hyman made the game’s biggest tackle with OSU trying to punch in the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Hyman shot past Cowboys guard Daniel Koenig to drop Jeremy Smith for a 5-yard loss on third-and-goal from the 1.
“That play on the goal line down there was unbelievable—it changed the game,” Slaughter said.
Kyle Rose (four tackles) played more nose guard with Christian Brown sidelined for this week. The only apparent in-game injury involved Eric Kinsey. Back at defensive end and tackle after spending parts of the past two weeks at Buck linebacker, Kinsey was on crutches after the game with his ankle wrapped.
Oklahoma State left its running game in Stillwater, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry. Smith netted 1 yard—just one—on 15 carries.
“We have to run the football. That’s certainly not enough for us,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy, who credited WVU’s defense with showing better gap responsibility this season.
Because Nick Kwiatkoski wasn’t dressed, Jared Barber (nine tackles, one TFL) and Doug Rigg (four tackles, one hurry, one pass breakup) played the bulk of the 87 defensive snaps at the inside linebacker spots. The middle men were solid, though Barber left fullback Jeremy Seaton uncovered on a 30-yard toiuchdown.
Brandon Golson sacked J.W. Walsh on OSU’s opening series, later added another TFL and was credited with forcing Smith’s fumble that Isaiah Bruce recovered. (With four forced fumbles, Golson is more than halfway to the single-season record of seven established by Grant Wiley in 2003). In a strange reprisal of the Georgia State game, Golson left temporarily with an awkward-looking knee injury after a clip sent teammate KJ Dillon sprawling into him.
True freshman Marvin Gross, having shifted from Spur to the Buck, made two stops and a third-down quarterback pressure.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

WVU’s Darwin Cook had eight tackles in the 30-21 win over Oklahoma State.
West Virginia’s first defensive touchdown of the season changed the timbre of the game. Icky Banks ran back an interception 58 yards to tie the score at 7-all, re-energizing the stadium.
As Banks’ first career interception turned the flow in the first quarter, Darwin Cook’s sixth career pick sealed the win in the final four minutes.
OSU’s Walsh was only 20-of-47 passing, but threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns. If not for a dropped pass, he also should have had a 60-yard hook-up with Jhajuan Seals, who had beaten Banks.
Cook missed a crucial tackle on Josh Stewart’s 73-yard screen-turned-touchdown, but made amends with a first-and-goal stuff on Smith that set the stage for WVU’s defensive stand. The senior made eight tackles with a pass breakup.
Cornerback Travis Bell was flagged for a face-mask that cost WVU a three-and-out, but he also played a role in the goal-line stand—batting away a fade route to Tracy Moore on second-and-goal.
Through five games, two components are reliable on weekly basis: Nick O’Toole punting the hell out of the football and WVU’s returners struggling like hell to catch it.


A fair catch at the 3 wasn’t part of Joe DeForest’s game plan.
Carswell bobbled two bouncing kickoffs and ran laterally on the second-half kickoff before being dropped at his own 3. (Sims and Wendell Smallwood were back deep on the next return.) Carswell and Thompson combined for minus-5 yards on three punt returns, and Thompson fair caught another at the WVU 3, leading to a chewing from Lonnie Galloway and a priceless sideline shot of Joe DeForest.
O’Toole averaged 44.6 yards on eight punts, which included a 30-yarder he stuck at the OSU 9.
Josh Lambert’s three field goals included a 45-yard do-over after he boinked the original try but was saved by a sideline timeout. (WVU needed the timeout because a protector was late running onto the field.) The redshirt freshman made two critical fourth-quarter tries from 27 and 34 as West Virginia sought to hang on, but Lambert also was wide right from fro 34 and had a 50-yarder deflected.
WVU’s coverage units generally contained Fields, until a 36-yard punt runback in the fourth quarter.
The offense, to borrow a Holgorsenism, “resembled football” again, and the defense was opportunistic and resilient. The week, from upbeat practices to a stunning upset, represented an emotional bounce-back for a team reeling after the Maryland embarrassment.

Ben Queen/Metronews photo

West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen argues for a defensive substitution during the second half of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State.
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  • GoEers

    Typical responses from William and Big Larry. They predicted that WVU would lose by over 40 points and ever predicted WVU's football team would be suffering for the next 5 years. The only suffering going on is all the exposure they've been since that great victory. So now these guys start talking spewing their trash about the other team being overrated, the fans, or anything else that could be considered a negative.

    We all must understand that both William and Big Larry are Marshall fans. They're not used to seeing their favorite team win big time games against big time teams. They're not used to seeing their favorite team get all the press and publicity as WVU did the past 2 says. They don't know what it's like to play in BCS or New year's Day Bowl games. All they can do now is just try to bash WVU whether they win or lose. William and Big Larry are the true definition of trolls and losers. So pathetic they are.

    • Big Larry


      Please quit reading my are not smart enough to understand them anyway.

      I am however happy that you are now able to string words into sentences...

  • Dave

    Trickett...thankful to have him...should've been the starter ALL season long!

  • Frank Paul

    You always hear the moaners, complainers, and crybabies after the game, who are never satisfied. They think the know more about
    football than anyone, but actually know little about anything. You guys need to get you heads out of your butts and think about what your saying, cause your not true Blue and Gold bleeding Mountaineer fans. Great Win for WVU, and the Dana, the Coaches, and the Mountaineer fans.

    • Steve


  • Outdoor Man

    Great win on saturday. I like how Trickett took it upon himself to call some plays. Apparently, Holgs is not that smart. With time,maybe the TEAM and COACHES can mature in to a pretty good thing. Go Eers!

  • 1olewvufan

    William, the closest thing I've ever seen to a perfect game was the Denver Bronco win last night. In football there are no points for impressive wins or sloppy wins or style points. A win is a WIN.

    WVU's Defense is the real deal. Trickett was the key to WVU's offensive success. And I believe now that the offensive players have a QB they can have confidence in, we'll see an improvement in the running game. Also, with the tough catches made by Kevin White, Mario Alford, and by 'Squirt" (Jordan Thompson), we'll see more of these types of catches as WVU goes forward. Players like seeing themselves on highlight reels. However, Ivan McCartney will never see himself making a big play on any highlight reel.

    WVU will improve in each game during the rest of the year. I loved the 2-goal line stands WVU made.

    Lastly, I like listening to Darwin Cook when he is being interviewed. His comment about Banks not having hands and bake, made me laugh. I also like how Trickett came across in his interview. I'm glad WVU finally has its Starting QB issue resolved.

    Good Job, Trickett!!!

    Go EERs!!!

  • polarbear

    William once again you dont have a clue. Here are the facts. The city violent crime rate for Morgantown in 2010 was lower than the national violent crime rate average by 20.72% and the city property crime rate in Morgantown was lower than the national property crime rate average by 76.94%. Next time try google before you post nonsense.

  • William

    WVU fans ARE NOT use to winning. ACT LIKE YOU BEING THERE BEFORE. They played a ugly game and beat a very bad OSU team and they go crazy, turning cars over and setting 10 fires. What a crazy and violent town Morgantown is. Not a safe place to visit because there is A LOT of crime.

    • Luke

      Did you even go to school?

  • Moon

    What a great win. I think Dana learned that chemistry and leadership are more important than 'scheme'. That was a very fun afternoon. Just keep working hard and good things will happen.

    Shame on Hoppy and all the pregame talk of moral victories and Hope. Don't think too much with your brain Hopp.....gets in the way of the truth.

    Go Mountaineers!!!

  • Little Bill

    Here we go again. William the EXPERT. I notice you never say we when referring to the Mountaineers. What does that tell us? I still say you wear GREEN! I also say you have no credibility and you are just taking up space. I say we all scroll right over William the critical expert and no longer acknowledge his existence. Bye bye green shirt and good luck in the mighty Conference USA. Scrolling by!

  • Big Larry

    Trickett is the real deal...He is more of a deep threat then Geno ever was....Tricket can throw the deep ball on the run with a bad arm...

    I have seen both Millard & Ford but was not impressed.

    Trickett is our man if he can stay healthy...

    If WVU had an offensive line, they could be a pretty good team...but they don't...

    • GoEers

      Your opinion does not matter here. Take it to the Marshall articles where jealous trolls like you belong.

    • mark

      i agree, remember this is his first game and it was against a quality opponent.

    • Truthteller

      WOW!!! Big Larry you must be blind. Geno Smith is playing on Sundays for a reason. I like Trickett but he is no where even near the talent of Geno.
      You need to get off those meds buddy and come back to reality. Here is an good place to start. or these will wake you up and probably scare you into reality.

      • Big Larry


        Let me break this down in kindergarten terms so you can understand it...

        I watched Geno Smith for 3 years and it was rare for him to "air it out". Once or twice a game was about all. He could do it...he just didn't do it that often. The majority of his passes were short screens, passes to the flat, or finesse passes to the far side of the was what it was.

        I went back yesterday and watched the replay of the game and was amazed at the mobility of Trickett and the number of deep balls he threw. Geno Smith never did that...

        Not taking anything away from Geno...he was one of the greatest we ever had...I am just saying I saw some things in Tricket I never saw in Geno Smith.

        I thought... "My gosh...this kid is a threat to throw the deep ball on every down..." And he almost did.

        I never saw any mobility or leadership in Childress or Millard...its just not there...

        Trickett is the ticket....

        Get over it!

        • Mister Man

          Geno aired it out on many occasions and had good success. Collin Cowherd mentioned that on ESPN.

      • leroy jethro gibbs

        did you see what geno did yesterday??

  • William101

    Upon review, we played hard, but there is room for a lot of improvement. We need to find an OL combination that will give some push so we can run the football, or we won't keep a healthy QB.

    The D is improved and has much more depth than most suspected.

    If Trick can stay healthy, he'll get better.

    WR have at least made a few memorable plays. I can say the names of most of the receivers and associate their names with a highlight from this season.

    OSU had many unforced errors, i.e., two shanked punts, missed field goal, and a dropped pass that might have been a score. We had our own problems, but OSU trumped our miscues.

    Tough challenge this weekend. But "it's a game, lads....let's have fun".

    • Mister Man

      Upon review, Marshall did not play Saturday.

      • Mister Man

        My bad. I thought that was William, not William101. I should have read the whole post.

  • Darren

    Don't fogret, Chldress was 4-Star recruit. He just needs time to develop.

  • Devan

    Last year, the defense was clueless. Players out of position. Players not knowing what to do. Undisciplined. Making bonehead after bonehead mistake. Just a mess. WVU changes coaches and there is a complete turnaround.

    Now, special teams are clueless. Players not knowing what to do. Undisciplined. Making bonehead after bonehead mistake. Just a mess.

    One common denominator in both is DeForest. That's no coincidence.

    Will Dana keep his buddy around another year?

    • Shane

      Thank you! I have been saying that since the OU game. It's not just a coincidence that the poorest team we've fielded the last two years are coached by the same guy.

    • William

      How is Joe Deforest still employed at WVU? It is just a matter of time till ALL the WVU football coaches are gone! How long will they last? Maybe 3 more years at most, and that's only because of their overpaid salary.

      • Mark

        He is still there because they owe him 500k this year and next year. Third highest paid state employee if you can believe that.

      • mark

        I hate to agree with william . but Deforest needs to go! He couldn't coach defense and it's apparent he can't coach special teams. ther isn't any place else to put him.

    • Truthteller

      I agree, DeForest has to be related to Jeff Mullins or something. Everything this guy touches turns to crap and not gold. He is Thumplestillskin. He needs to go. I think it would be nice to have Jeff Hostetler as a QB coach.

  • Brian

    The OLine and Special Teams issues will haunt WVU the rest of the season -of this i have NO doubt.
    However, I did see some things I really liked (and generally a vast improvement over last weekend!). I think every WVU fan can agree it is GREAT to see WVU with a decent defense again (though the secondary guys are still "growing").
    Look....the QB thing is a hassle. I've come to the conclusion there are 4 basic types of D1 QB's in college football. 1) Those that don't belong on the D1 level (talent); 2) Those that have talent and simply can't produce/win effectively; 3) those that are not great but find ways to win; 4) Simply great Qb's.
    Seems like we have the first 3 on our roster.

    • tw eagle

      finally , you got something right brian . . .there are three good QB's on the WVU roster

      They are : clint Trickett Paul Millard ,

      and Lowes Moore . . .

      Put the Ford in the garage for repairs and a tune up and only bring it out in the sunshine when all the "good" QB's are hospitalized and can't be propped up on the field of play . . .

      • Offense Help

        There is a 4th QB listed as a true freshmen. It is not Logan But Mcpherson.

      • tw eagle

        my apologies Mr Moore . . .it is Logan . . .

        and i'm hoping with the current injury status of the WVU QB's that you are being given some "work" in practice
        other than on the scout team . . .

  • William

    It was a good win for WVU, but it was a very ugly football game. OSU played terrible and WVU did not play very good. It was OSU bad play that gave WVU a win, so WVU fans, don't get to excited yet, OSU was way overrated. I still think that WVU has a big problem at quarterback, it is still a mess. Will need to recruit a new quarterback for next year, because these 3 guys are not good enough to lead this team to very many wins!

    • Duggie

      William, your back. Guess your done beating up Huggins.

    • MountainMover

      To qualify this win with "OSU played terrible" is ridiculous. WVU was in free-fall after Maryland. No one gave us a chance in this game, we were a 3-TD underdog ... at home. We're not a contender yet but the trend, at least, has been reversed. The defense was awesome, and Trickett's mobility was a big plus given a mediocre offensive line. Plus he played hurt and led the team. Now if we can just find someone who knows how to field a punt. WVU has put itself in position to get to a bowl game. Given how this season started that would be a success. This was a huge win, no way to understate or qualify it, let's build on this. After Maryland we all privately wondered if we'd win another game. Now that we have beaten Okla St no game on the schedule is out of reach.

    • derek

      OSU played a horrible game because we took em to the shed. One thing is for certain our D has put out a lot of great players this yr. Think we need to lock in Keith Patterson ASAP. Even by giving the 500k we over pay DeForest.

    • Charlie

      Mountaineer Nation...I would like to propose a complete boycott of "The William". I suggest, after my post, that we completely ignore anything this gentleman post. His destructive nonsense needs to be treated the way we would any other jibberish...igniter. Just leave him to his own thoughts and wish him ado.

      • GoEers

        Charles I would agreed with my reasoning being that he is nothing but a jealous marshall troll who never got to see his beloved Herd beat WVU, beat any big time teams, or play in any new year day or bcs games...and one thing he will never see is the herd playing in the National Playoff becuase a school like MU does not have access...they are the have nots just like William is...a have not and irrelevant

      • William

        don't boycott me Charlie! I'll behave from here on out.

        WVU win over OSU was epic!!! Holgorsen is a genius!!!

        Marshall sux!


        • Fentanyl Bomb

          William, love your twerk.

    • William

      I don't know football very well. For example, it never occurs to me that the good play of one team can make another team's performance look bad.

      I am so far behind that I think I'm ahead so don't mind me.

    • Truthteller

      Yea that is what all the haters say when we beat a ranked team. They were over rated. What would
      you say if that team beat WVU?

    • Chet Ubetcha

      They already have recruited another QB from Dunbar High School, and he is the real deal from all appearances