MANHATTAN, Kan. — Just when West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen seemed to have settled on a quarterback, Clint Trickett’s erratic arm made things unsettling.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia’s Clint Trickett was benched in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 35-12 loss at K-State.

Trickett completed 15-of-28 passes for 227 yards, but missed several open receivers throughout the afternoon. After Kansas State reeled off three consecutive second-half touchdowns, Holgorsen turned to Paul Millard for the final 7:31 of what became a 35-12 loss.

“You’ve got to be able to throw to open people and complete it, and Clint was not doing that,” Holgorsen said.

Trickett’s final pass attempt was an overthrow of Jordan Thompson streaking down the right hash.  On the next play, Trickett scrambled 5 yards for a first down only to have the ball stripped by K-State safety Ty Zimmerman at the Wildcats’ 46-yard line.

“The frustration level is high. I’m frustrated with myself, it’s obvious,” said Trickett, whose record dipped to 1-3 as a starter at West Virginia. “I’ve got to play better.”

Trickett’s streaky performance began with 1-of-6 passing as WVU punted four times in the first quarter and trailed 7-0. Then he hit on nine straight passes and 10-of-13 as the Mountaineers took a 9-7 lead in the second quarter. Included in that stitch was a 6-yard touchdown scramble and a 50-yard hookup to Ronald Carswell that led to a field goal.

Even during the second half, Trickett made two excellent throws: an on-rhythm screen that Kevin White took for 43 yards (leading to another field goal) and a 20-yard deep out to Daikiel Shorts. But Trickett also lost two fumbles, and missed Cody Clay on a third-and-5. By the time K-State led 28-12, Holgorsen went to Millard in the bullpen.

“When we were down two touchdowns, we obviously have to pick the pace up, run two-minute offense and throw the ball more,” Holgorsen said. “Paul has a little more experience spreading the ball around.”

Alas, Millard went 4-of-14 on two final drives: one that culminated on downs at the K-State 36-yard line and another that was intercepted by Dorrian Roberts.

“I thought he did a very average job,” Holgorsen said of Millard’s relief cameo.

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was reluctant to call WVU’s quarterback battle re-opened.

“Going into the game Clint had played well, but he had a bad series, went out there and missed a few open guys,” he said. “So we tried to put somebody in there to give us a spark.”

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Comments

  • scott

    I think we all miss one thing....Geno Smith....compare one of Geno's throws out into the deep flat...25-30 yards. Trickett has a high school arm compared to Geno . The defense recovered from about a 15 yard gap on saturday on one of Tricks throws. NO zip or spiral....not to mention Tavon and Stedman...we lost alot and it shows...Lets go Mountaineers

  • Truthteller

    I strongly believe that Dana was hired to destroy the winning traditions at WVU. I believe he actually gets paid bonuses for each game he losses. Any other coach in our past has shown signs of improvement and Dana only shows signs of degrading the seasons at WVU. Dana has to go and the whole coaching staff with him. We need ex-Mountaineers as coaches. Hopefully some one with pro experience or head coaching experience. Anybody else will sell us down the river for the right price.

  • WVU MA82

    Dana Holgorsen has been successful every place he has worked; that is how he landed in Morgantown. It takes time to work with what he has recruited. When recruiting from a high school or Jr. college, you really do not know what kind of Division I player the kids will be. We all can see that our QB's do not know the first thing about QB position. Bad throws, bad pocket use, bad throws, bad running, bad throws, bad football skills. At 6-2 and 6-4, why throw into the hands of defensive lineman? Why run when there are 3 receivers wide open with their hands up? Etc., etc.,

    HOWEVER, it appears that no one is teaching the defensive backs to cover the ball. No one is teaching the receivers to catch and run. No one is teaching our tight end to block first, catch second. Catch the ball, stay on your feet. Way too many open receivers while we watch them catch and run for touchdowns for Division I, Way too many dropped passes for Division I, way too many missed tackles, way too many blown assignments, way too many missed calls, etc. I do not believe the problems lie with the head coach, but, rather, the assistants who are supposed to teach these kids to do their jobs. Above all, WVU is a college, where students go to learn. Learn the game guys, learn the plays, learn your assignments, learn to win. WVU cannot afford to start over AGAIN. Luck, or the next AD, will convince Dana to get rid of some of the assistants. If, after that, things do not improve during 2014, Dana must answer some serious questions.

  • Shadow

    Less than a month ago, Trickett had a shoulder injury. In the interview, no one asked him if he had any pain with throwing. Muscle injuries take time to heal.

  • Gunga Din

    Trickett, by himself, is not the problem. This team stinks -- the whole team and nothing but the team.

  • JEFF S

    I feel like the Cleveland fan in the youtube video. We don't even expect this team to be good we just want them to be watchable. Puskar Stadium is a factory of sadness,

  • Daniel

    I always present myself well while in other countries and states, and try to show my proud colors of "Blue and Gold." Lately, that is becoming very hard. I teach English as Second Language in Foreign Countries, suchs as China, Republic of Georgia (Europe), and such. When I tell them that our state University participates in these sports, my students ask me, "Do they win all the time?" My answer is simply this: No one can be expected to win all the time. Sometimes is granted, but not all the time. I tell them it is a
    team sport. Everyone wins together and everyone loses together. Right now, everyone is losing together! I will continue to be faithful to the old "Gold & Blue." But excuses are coming hard to find as to why we cannot win football or basketball games. God bless WV and its' citizens, you are a very unique group of people that I will always consider family.

  • Mike

    White, slaton, Devine, smith, Austin, Bailey and Irvin are not going to walk through that door, Fellas!

  • Mike

    Millard is a junior high player!

  • DonaldH

    Higher Education is for academics anyway,,, not sports!!! There are about 13,000 too many students in Morgantown to begin with and far too many sports programs and student athletes...

  • mtmanstan

    ZERO team chemistry. A winning attitude starts with team chemistry and, until we have a staff that is concerned about wins and losses instead of $$$$ and where I'm going next, we have a dim future in the football department. Still love my Eer's, just hate to see us being used as stepping stone once again.

    • William

      No true WVU fan would ever call the team EER'S.

      • mtmanstan

        Sorry to offend you William. Glad we aren't discussing South Carolina.

  • CBP

    One more thing. The loss of Bedenbaugh to Oklahoma was a huge loss for our coaching staff as he was an exceptional coach/recruiter. Crook (one of your WV-bleed gold/blue natives that you all always beg for) is in way over his head!

    • Jock Strap

      Yeah Crooks in way over his head, this isn't Stanford any more this WVU and we expect way more out of our coaches than Stanford does. Please fire Crook we don't want to sink to the likes of a Stanford.

      • Keith J

        :-)

  • Bill

    Didn't think Millard did that bad considering the defense knew he was in a pass,pass situation. Doesn't have a very strong arm but at least he appears to be able to call plays at the line of scrimmage and run the offence. Doesn't make any difference if Trickett has a little stronger arm since he apparently can't run the offence(what few plays we have) or throw close to a receiver. Holgs says he can teach the offence in 3 days and Trickett (a college graduate) hasn't learned it in 3months. Something is wrong with this picture! By the way imo Millard at least makes us look somewhat like we know what we are doing. Probably not going to win with either one of them tho.

  • CBP

    Couldn't agree with you more Keith. The people on this message board are simply delusional. We no longer play in the Big Least...DH isn't out their overthrowing wide open receivers or dropping catchable balls. It is and always has been about the horses in the race. We have an extremely inexperienced team and unlike in the Big Least where you could sleepwalk through 3 quarters and still win, you get your behind handed to you in this Big Boy conference. Oh and Bobby M-neither Holiday or Graham are offensive coaches. Doc is a good recruiter/nothing more.

  • Offense Help

    Pick 10 plays, put them on a wrist band give it to the true freshman walk on QB, Mcpherson or reconvert Moore from WR to QB and let them battle this week for starting job. Results could be different or we could still lose but either way, these highly regarded scholarship QBs are not earning their keep. Of course, there are a lot of others who are not getting the job done as well.