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.”

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  • Aleisha

    I believe everything typed made a great deal of sense. But, what about this?

    suppose you wrote a catchier title? I am not saying your content
    is not good., however what if you added a title to maybe get folk's attention? I
    mean WV MetroNews - Holgorsen: Trickett changing plays at the line

  • Allan

    We also can add another QB in the mix, incoming 4 star freshmen William Crest. He's a dual threat QB and may have a chance to start if he's anything like Geno in regards to studying film and physically tough enough to take the hits after running for that first down. Also, don't forget 5 star running back Rushel Shell who had to sit out the 2013 season transferring from Pitt. He will replace Sims, who I am sure will take the draft into the NFL.

  • John b

    If trickett is starting over incoming freshman William crest next year it is going to be another long season and probably Dana's last.

  • Troll

    Rodriguez is the answer baby look how well he has done since he left the big east. He can't handle the big boys either. Nehlen couldn't , Stewart couldn't, Rodriguez can't and Holgorsen can't either. So what you big dreaming fans need to do is go for Saban or Fisher. Go big or go home! I'm sure either one of those will come and pull you out of the misery you live in now. Put your foot down now! Demand Saban or Fisher to get back where you were at the top of the football world, enough of this mediocrity it's time to get back to championships! Do it now or drop the program the fans can't stand no more.

    • Mentalvoyeur

      When were we ever at the top of the football world? And the only reason a coach like saban would come here is for the challenge of salvaging a sinking ship. That is not going to happen.

  • Toadman

    Hey Go Eers, the Big 10, SEC and the ACC didn't want us, so the only other route to go was the Big 12. (we had to fight off Louisville) When your backed into a corner like Ollie was, what else can you do do. Ollie didn't make any big decisions. He took the only road avaiable to him at the time. You & I could have made that decision. Speaking of economics this year is, the start of the "law of diminishing returns". If we stay invested in "Holgersonism", we will continue on a steady downhill direction. FIRE HIM! Get somebody who knows what he is doing!

    • Troll

      Hehehe that be you?

  • pghmountaineer

    Please stop with the Terry Bowden stuff. He's never won anything. I'm not being critical it's just the truth.

    • Rick S.

      Terry Bowden went 19-13 in three years at Salem.

      He then went to Samford, which had won a total of six games in three years before Bowden got there. In his first season at woeful Samford, Bowden went 9-1 and led the nation in total offense and scoring. He went 45-23-1 in six season at Samford, once reaching the national semifinals.

      Bowden then went to Auburn, where he went 11-0 in his first season, becoming the first coach in Division 1-A history to go undefeated and untied in his first season at that level. In six seasons at Auburn, he went 47-17-1.

      After working in television, Bowden came back to coaching in 2009 with North Alabama, where he went 29-9 in three seasons, making the playoffs all three seasons.

      Last year, his first at Akron, Bowden went 1-11. Akron led the MAC in passing, and finished 45th nationally in total offense (WVU was 10th). So far this season, Akron is 2-7.

      Bowden's career record is 143-80-2.

      Bowden lettered two years as a running back at WVU, and had a 3.65 GPA in accounting, the highest GPA on the WVU football team, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He also earned a law degree from the Florida State School of Law.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    I told my son we are going to get blown out this coming weekend. That was the week end we beat Ok. St. Lets see if that works again. We are going to get blown out by TCU.

    Please make me a liar again.

    What ever, Love Ya

  • GoEers

    Always good to see the Marshall trolls are out in full force. Kinda shows how irrelevant your athletic programs are.

  • jdubindatub

    Greg Shiano or Terry Bowden will be our coach next year. and to be honest i would welcome it. Holgersen is no head coach he is like a deer in head lights. use the kiss meathod and keep it simple.

  • Jack

    The pain will subside in a few weeks.

  • Jock Strap

    My bad Shawn, guess someone other than Holgorsen taught Harrell, Keenum, Weeden and Smith the offense. That explains why these guys could run it and throw up big numbers in yardage and TD's. Now that Trickett is having trouble grasping the offense Holgorsen can't teach it. Right. Don't care if he's a coaches son or not the bottom line is for some reason all these other guys got it, included qb's with other coaches that use his system and he hasn't, can't put all the blame on the coach.

  • Phil M.

    I'm going to fix our football team for next year.

    1. We need a QB who can make all the throws and run like Pat White, Taj Boyd, etc. You need a read option type QB in college.

    2. We need speed at running back. We have good RB's but not with Noel Devine or Tavon Austin type speed. Not sure what the Pitt transfers 40 time is.

    3. Totally revamped Oline. Enough said.

    4. A consistent pass rush and speed at LB.

    That should do it. Any questions ?? Okay now recruit it and do it. That all the other top teams do. It's not that complicated.

    • Troll

      Explain that to Saban for me will ya, he doesn't seem to having any success with his pocket passing game managers, that would be quarterbacks for you simple minds, and straight ahead rushing attack.


    Cry and wine is all some people do on this board.
    Your lives must be so great that you have nothing else to complain about. Wait until your pensions and social security benefits are gone. Then you will have good reason to cry. Mountaineer football won't make any difference when you can't pay your bills.

  • Morgantown

    Meanwhile in Lubbock, TX , two true freshman QBs are playing at a very high level in a very similar system. I don't know if they are calling audibles, but they at least grasp the system enough to make plays and win.

  • Born to be mild

    I think the players don't like Holgerson. I may be wrong but it doesn't seem like he is much of a people person. You gotta have fun and have a good attitude to win games.
    He talks sometimes about the players like they are idiots. If this is the case, hard luck recruiting anyone good in the future.
    Then again, I may be wrong.