MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Clint Trickett’s right shoulder reportedly is fine. Dana Holgorsen’s voice is not.
Through raspy and hoarse tones he feared could be the onset of laryngitis, West Virginia’s head coach announced Thursday night that Trickett would start against No. 17 Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas.
Trickett’s status had been uncertain since he absorbed a fourth-quarter pounding from Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. Though Trickett missed only one play and returned to finish the final two drives in the 30-21 upset victory, he favored his right arm noticeably and was deemed questionable by coaches early in the week.
Holgorsen, as has become almost a weekly occurrence on his radio call-in show, used the platform to announce his starting quarterback. Though Trickett was 24-of-50 for 309 yards against Oklahoma State, his first start as a Mountaineer was marked by communication lapses with Holgorsen. The coach, who said he required a steroids prescription for his sore throat, joked about losing his voice from screaming at Trickett during practice, frustrated by the Florida State transfer’s inability to pick up signals from the sideline.
“I can’t just be deliberate with the signs,” said Holgorsen, citing his need to be quick and cagey with sideline motions in order to prevent opposing defenses from stealing playcalls.
To that end, Holgorsen said Trickett is showing improvement not only with understanding Holgorsen’s signs, but also relaying them to the offense at the line of scrimmage. That’s why Holgorsen sensed the junior gives WVU its best chance of defeating Baylor, even though the coach said Ford Childress (torn pectoral) and opening-day starter Paul Millard are healthy and available.
“Clint’s getting better,” Holgorsen said. “This is what he’s waited for a long time. He doesn’t want to screw it up.”