Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett learns the offense, coaches say he won’t be able to audible until next season.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Among the first-year limitations affecting West Virginia transfer quarterback Clint Trickett is the inability to change plays at the line.

With four starts behind him and four more potentially ahead, Trickett apparently won’t be gaining traction in that area until the offseason.

“That isn’t going to happen this year,” coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I’ve come to terms with that.”

Because Trickett transferred from Florida State in late May and missed out on WVU’s spring practice, he entered preseason camp trailing returnees Paul Millard and Ford Childress. Both of those quarterbacks started two games before Trickett took over in Week 5, overcoming communication struggles with Holgorsen to lead the Mountaineers to a 30-21 upset of Oklahoma State.

Three straight losses later, some of the communication kinks have been ironed out, but Holgorsen said working on audibles and play-checks is “100 percent for the offseason,” because the time-crunch of game-week preparations doesn’t afford Trickett time to split focus.

“He needs to look at cut-ups from an entire year without the pressure of trying to prepare for an opponent,” Holgorsen said. “He needs to sit in a room and study it, then go outside and work on that for a couple months. He’s going to need that downtime and offseason time in order to grasp what we are asking of him, which isn’t surprising.”

Trickett’s pre-snap inflexibility can hamstring West Virginia in situations where the defensive alignment beckons a change. Witness the compliments coaches showered upon Geno Smith last season for checking into and out of running plays at the line.

But as offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson reminded: “Geno probably didn’t (audible) the first year as a much as he did it the second year—I think that’s one thing you’ve got to keep in mind.”

Even with no audibles at Trickett’s disposal, Dawson said the offense can hum if WVU makes routine plays with consistency. With West Virginia ranking 94th nationally in scoring at 22.9 points per game, he said the most pressing emphasis for Trickett is cycling through live-play progressions by “learning to trust your reads, trust your eyes.”

Complicating Trickett’s development was the need to unlearn the FSU offensive system he studied for three seasons. That deprogramming has proven difficult, said Trickett,who during film study still refers to some plays by Seminoles terminology.

“I’m a first-year quarterback in the system, so struggles like that are going to happen,” said Trickett. “I’m excited for the spring, to get a full year under it.”

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Amber


  • Big Larry

    It is a SAD day to be a Mountaineer Football fan...

    wherever you may be!

    • stevewvu

      I actually feel sorry for Big Larry. He lives on welfare and uses that money to pay for internet service so that he can troll on WVU articles. He hopes that WVU loses every game in all sports as that provides him with some level of comfort considering that he is a Marshall fan and will never be able to see his beloved heard play in any big time bowl games because they are not allowed based on their conference affiliation. Poor Big larry. When the conference realignment music stopped, his beloved Herd was left without a chair. That's just one of the many reasons he is jealous and hateful towards WVU.

    • Troll

      It's probably just a sad day being you.

      • Keith J

        Don't see the need for the ad hominem attacks. Would make comment section much more enjoyable.

      • stevewvu

        I am just thankful everyday that I am not a pathetic jealous troll filled with hatred like Big Larry. I couldn't imagine going through life as miserable as he is.

      • Clark

        Now THAT was funny.

        • hailey

          very accurate, lil larry is a very sad ego-maniac.... you guys think Larry was picked on constantly as a child in school? the message boards were invented for kids like larry

  • Indian Boy

    Dawson stated it correctly. Doesn't matter what system your using, without consistent execution nothing works. And without good O line play you cant execute an offence nor sustain drives. If we get one game with good blocking, we will win.

  • don

    So lets see if I've got this right. We hang our hopes on a q-back who with a lot of off season work may "learn the system" enough to lead us to a great 7-5 season in 2014. Then he is gone and we go right back to square one with another green q-back. Meanwhile the defensive backs continue to stand around and watch in awe as opposing receivers eat them alive.

    • MountainMover

      Would be very happy with 7-5 and a bowl bid anywhere given what we've seen so far, and personally I think that's a bit of a longshot. Trickett will have another year of eligibility next year. Not sure he's the answer long term but he appears to be the best of what we have right now. Honestly, any WVU QB would have a better shot at success if the offensive line could actually block. Giving up multiple tackles for loss, even sacks, to a terrible team like Georgia State is just not getting it done. Every other team on the schedule is tougher, and it has shown. We have to recruit better linemen and/or coach up the ones we have otherwise it won't matter who the QB is or what the scheme is.

  • big tom

    my mistake, he isn't qb material on div 1 level

  • big tom

    From what I have seen of trickett, he is qb material on the div. 1 level... a backup maybe, but the kid isn't a very good passer, doesn't want to run with the ball, and looks like a pretzel ready to break.
    This kid will take our program nowhere,,, surely there is a high school qb who wants to start somewhere and is really good,,, wvu is his chance.
    Our qb's are pure drop back passers and none of them are very good,,, let's hunt down another pat white and try that,,, that isn't dana's style but wvu wants to quit losing.
    believe me, our qb situation is the worst it's been in 20 yrs. and holgie recruited or invited all three,,,does he just not know how to evaluate talent.

    • Doug

      Millard is Stewarts. He was suppose to be good enough to take over from Geno. Childress is holgs but he was suppose to start next year or take over after Millard. Trickett was brought in because Millard sucks and Childress isn't ready. If Sterwart had recruited a few good QBs we wouldn't be in the mess

      • Rick S.

        Okay, I researched the matter. Paul Millard was being recruited out of high school by Stephen F. Austin Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson. When Dawson was hired to assist Dana Holgerson at West Virginia, Dawson encouraged Millard to come to WVU as an invited walk-on.

        Bill Stewart was still legally the lame duck head coach when Millard came to WVU in January 2011, but Millard was brought in by Dawson, who was head coach in waiting Holgorsen's assistant coach.

        Millard was quoted in 2011 as saying he came to WVU specifically to play for Holgorsen. And in a 2011 story specifically stated that it was Holgorsen and Dawson who "scooped Millard" for WVU.

      • Rick S.

        Are you sure Millard was recruited by Stewart? I thought he was brought in by Holgorsen, but I am not sure about that.

  • pghmountaineer

    With this season basically being over, he might as well give Trickett all the reps he can get because Dana has to turn this around next year or his head coaching days are over for a long time.
    As a die hard fan, I hope he does but I'm not sure the rest of his staff can help him.

  • Big Deal

    You know it's bad when they're already talking about and looking forward to the offseason.

  • Big Larry

    Tricket ought to be thankful he is not playing for Huggins...

    That offense takes 4 years to learn. Just ask Kevin Jones.

    • GoEers

      i asked Kevin Jones...he said that in the 4 years he played for coach huggins, he went to the NCAA tournament every year with one of those being a trip to the final 4

      Hey Big Larry since you are a Marshall fan, when was the last time MU made it to the NCAA tournament? If memory serves me correct, I beleive it was back during the Reagan Administration. big larry are a big as a joke as the school that you truly are a fan of

    • stevewvu

      He should be thankful that he isn't playing for marshall or he would be on the losing end of games against MAC power Ohio U or that powerhouse team in Middle Tennessee St.

      Right Big Larry?

    • Clark

      Huggins has an offense? It looks like a game of hot potato until the shot clock is aobut to expire,and the last man with the ball throws it up.

  • Jock Strap

    Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin they all seemed to be able to learn the system. So just maybe there is a problem besides the coaching technique.

  • JimJim

    "The offense is simple and it only takes three days to install" A quote from Dana Dude.

  • Dennis

    As I recall, coach Holgorsen said it only took three days to install his offensive system. Apparently it takes three semesters to learn it.

    • Bobby M

      YES! He did SAY that many MANY times! Great POINT Friend!

      Hey Coach - what about your offense learning your SYSTEM??!!! Coach: "Isnt gonna happen ths year!"

      Hey Coach - what about YOU going on winning streak??!!!? Coach: "Isnt gonna happen ths year!"

      Hey Coach - what about your offense actually scoring POINTS??!" Coach: "Isnt gonna happen ths year!"

      Hey Coach - what ABOUT you blaming the coachs and skemes instead of PLAYERS??!!! Coach: "Isnt gonna happen ths year!"

    • gigi

      I have been thinking the same thing

    • Matt

      I only wish the defense could have a line like that.....

    • JimJim

      Sorry Dennis, we both remember him saying that.and you got there first.

  • tw eagle

    holgerson is trying to make changing plays at the line of scrimmage sound like a 7 year old trying to work geometric problems . . .coaches and players aren't going to diss each other , or they shouldn't anyway . . .

    Trickett must be one dumb 'sob' if he can't see the D and get the O aligned in a play to exploit it . . .

    Rasheed Marshall couldn't figure a D if he was standing in their huddle , BUT , RR would send in a play , the Mounties would line up , and the OC would call down and signal the play to Rasheed to change to , to attack that D . . .

    now , if holgerson is too stupid to work this out , he should be replaced . . .BUT , I've got another conspiracy theory for all you WVU fans . . .holgerson will let Millard and Trickett struggle because he wants the Ford to be his QB . . .pick the reason, Childress money , the price of admission to the XII ( our guy ain't good enough to play in texas , but you make him look like a competent QB ) or doing a favor for getting the WVU job . . .

    my money is on the Ford getting the last two games - essentially letting him play against the four weakest opponents on the schedule this year . . .and the Ford has SUCKED so far . . .

    • Brett

      How can anybody think that a head coach wants their team to lose for any reason? That is just my opinion, and I choose not to play conspiracy theories. If when Childress is healthy all he has to do is say is outperforming everyone and play him. But to say that he is losing games intentionally is beyond my comprehension. WVU is struggling. They are on their 3rd head coach in how many years? The new one is learning to be a new head coach. He doesn't have near the depth and talent that he needs, especially in the Big 12. He makes a lot of gutsy calls, especially on 4th down. WIthout a talented group half the time they backfire on him. They will improve and it will take time. WVU definitely needs more talent 2 and 3 layers deep so they can keep fresh capable bodies out there, even through injuries.

      • tw eagle

        you don't like conspiracy theories . . .OK. . . just how does a coaching staff prepare for an opponent . . .

        to start with , I have to believe that Trickett is smart enough to learn the offense that the HC says takes only three days to install . . .so , trickett knows the offense , and what plays can be run with each different set of players on the field . . .
        the coaches break down film and work with each team group to show and explain the tendencies of their opponent and how to best defeat and exploit these same . . .concerning the QB , you point out to him the sets and plays that they think will work best against their opponent , and what tools (movement) the QB can employ to move(affect) the position of defenders . . .not all QB's can read defenses - RR found a way to help his QB who lacked this ability - if our present HC is "throwing in the towel" and deciding Trickett can't be helped , the HC needs to be replaced , cause his coaching skills are too weak to head a D1 program . . .

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    I for one think it is about time he learns the plays. If he hasn't learned them in 7 games, how is he supposed to learn them in the future?

  • chad

    This is why Millard should be starting there genius

    • Realist

      Yeah, great idea...start the king of turnovers and dumb decisions

      • chad

        Oh right cause all Trickett has done is make great decisions and has never turned the ball over. At least Millard knows the offense.