MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Foremost during this, his final college season, Clint Trickett says he wants “to win some games,” and the only way West Virginia is going to win any number of note is with Trickett playing quarterback.

So this week coach Dana Holgorsen sends out an oddly-timed statement naming Trickett as the 2014 starter, and two days later, the senior quarterback with the Robin Thicke hairdo fields questions—some of them, at least—as to how and why the decision came down in late June.

“I think Coach was just happy that when I was in the weight room I was doing what I was doing before,” said Trickett.

The public proclamation denied us the faux-mystery of fall-camp competition, because as West Virginia’s quarterbacking is currently constituted, there is no competition. Paul Millard can come out of the bullpen in a pinch, but he’s not a season-long answer. Junior-college transfer Skyler Howard suffered through a brutal spring. And even if William Crest sets the field afire in August, he needs seasoning—and ideally, a season—to transition from Dunbar to D-I.

Heck, Trickett needed a full season of acclimation despite being a fourth-year junior.

“This offense produces a lot of good quarterbacks,” he said. “I obviously wasn’t one of them last year.”

Neither his 52 percent completion rate or his 7-to-7 touchdown-to-interception output were reminiscent of previous Holgorsen QBs, but Trickett was on the field for both of West Virginia’s Big 12 victories in 2013. One of those was, in retrospect, a hellacious ambush of an Oklahoma State team that came within 19 seconds of winning the league. That also turned out to be the only game in which Trickett was healthy, and even then he was healthy for only about three quarters.

Though he returned from a second-half shoulder sprain to lead a 30-21 victory, Trickett wasn’t right the rest of the season. He learned in December that he’d been playing with a torn labrum.

“Shoot, the one time I was healthy, we pulled off a pretty good one,” he said. “So you wonder what-if, but that’s life, and if you wonder what-if on a lot of things you’re not going to get anywhere.”

While Holgorsen contends Trickett is completely recovered from offseason surgery that shelved him for spring practice, the quarterback remained evasive Thursday night about his current arm strength. He also declined to discuss any details regarding his summer throwing routine.

What about offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s take on pegging a starter before Independence Day?

“If you evaluate last year’s tape—which we’ve watched countless times—when he was healthy he played at a high level,” he said.

“We feel like its clear-cut in our minds or we wouldn’t (announce a starter). When you know you’re the guy, and you’ve got the coaching staff clearly behind you, it changes your demeanor and your attitude. It’s only going to help him and help the unit in the long run.”

Trickett had anticipated owning the job ever since the aftermath of the season-ending 52-44 triple-overtime loss to Iowa State. Not even spending the entirety of spring practice in shorts altered that assumption.

“Having the spring off, you would think it hurt, but I got to see the game, this offense, from a different point of view, how the coaches see it,” he said. “And now I know more about what they want on the field.”

Turns out they mainly wanted Trickett on the field.

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  • jschmoe

    What this article really says is we do not have a quarterback

  • any major dude

    Trickett's lack of size and potential for injury is his Achilles heel, or labrum if you will. Yes the O line's ability to pass protect is crucial here. He is a mentally tough kid and showed no fear, unlike Paul who got sideways happy feet at the slightest provocation, Howard not anywhere near ready and Crest the same. Moore may in fact be the best option but you never know until he plays a real game in anger. But in the end we must run the ball and break into the top 100 defenses to have any chance of success in 2014. As has been pointed out, despite the problems, the O was at least halfway decent last year, unlike the defense which was horrid.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    I do wish Trickett the very best. Stay healthy. That I will be praying for. However, PLEASE learn the play book!!! Can't pray for that. God wont learn it for you.

    • Big Larry

      Praying wont help...

  • Protechcpa

    I have been pulling for Trickett since the first day I heard he was coming home. Face it, he could have sat it out with his dad and even though he would not have played, he would be wearing a championship ring right now. He chose to join WVU, he is savvy, he has more guts than some of the O line players we have been starting and he is now OUR GUY. Get behind him and wish him the best. Where would we be right now without him? Thanks for coming home, Clint.

    • susanf1218

      I hope that Trickett does well and most importantly, that he doesn't get hurt! He has shown that he has the mental toughness but his physical strength and size are a definite concern. Regardless of whether the team wins or loses, as a mom, it terrifies me to think that he is going to be the target for players who are so much bigger and stronger than he is. Will pray that he stays safe!

  • Mase

    Clint Trickett's seasnon, unfortunately, will end about mid way through quarter #2 of the Alabama Game. Dude is just to frail to play against D-1 defenses and Alabama's defense is somewhere between D-1 and the NFL.

    Maybe we should start Moore for that game and save Trickett and Millard for Big 12 play

    • Protechcpa

      I almost wish we could. We are supposed to be loaded at running back this year and I have heard O linemen say they prefer run blocking over pass blocking. Perhaps the best game plan for Alabama is line up and run right at them, forget the passing game. If that starts working, maybe Trickett gets a small window to toss a few quick ones. If not, we get beat badly, which everyone expects anyway. We live to play another day. If Trickett gets knocked out in the first game, Morgantown will be a quiet place on Saturdays this fall.

      • AppiKid

        I say fight fire with fire! Run against Alabama! Run Run Run! We must establish a run game against them or????

  • Holgie

    Spot on! There is no other option at QB right now.

  • FNP

    Trickett is a good QB but was thrown into the fire in his first season. I think if he stayed healthy last year then we win 2-3 more games.

    I challenge anybody on here to try to throw a football with a messed up shoulder. He's a tough kid who wants to win and will win next year.

    • Aaron

      I agree completely.

  • jay zoom

    I hope he does well. but if he's our only option were in a world of hurt. time and time again I've said 4 wins 8 losses that's my story and I'm sticking to it. and I hate to say it but we might only have three wins THANKS OLLIE

    • FNP

      The last time i checked, we were in a lot of games that the D gave away. So don't start pinning this stuff on the QB and offense. Where they stale at times last year? You better believe it. But its a "all three sides" game and always has been.

      • Aaron

        I'm sorry, Millard.

      • Aaron

        Mallard's performance last year against Texas did not lose the ball game, it was the defense. While he may or may not be able to throw the ball 50 times a game and win, he certainly possesses the tools to manage a game if West Virginia can run the ball and playing strong defense thus the headline and the authors contention are inaccurate.

        • Ole Sasquatch

          and don't forget the offensive line just got out of the way on those pass plays where he was getting sacked almost right away.

  • ridgerunner

    The #2 QB decision may be just as important due to the intangibles surrounding Trickets health, size and arm strength. He has a good grasp of the game and I hope he can stay healthy.


    "The only way West Virginia is going to win any number of note is with Trickett playing quarterback." HAHAHA WOOOOWWWWW!!! Homer much? The majority of the fanbase would completely disagree. I find your quote extremely odd and it seems as if you don't even follow the Mountaineers, yet you're writing articles for the real fans to read. The article reads like your BFF's with Clint, but you don't have the money to be apart of that inner circle. We just want to win. I hope Clint is ready to step up and hit some wide-open receivers this year.

    • wvufan1

      The fan base is not the coach. Trickett knocked off a Top 15 team last year and played with a torn labrum the rest of the year. The kid has heart! The loss to Iowa St the way I see it is we put 44 on the board that should be a W every Saturday. It was a loss from the D not the QB!

    • notorious

      Trickett is clearly the best QB on this team. Millard isn't the answer. He's had 4 years to prove himself and he didn't.

      Crest might be the future, but he isn't the present. He barely completed 50% of his passes at Dunbar High. You really think he's ready for the Big 12?

      And don't even mention Howard. Hr will never sniff the field in Morgantown.

      • Ole Sasquatch


        • notorious

          We should all hope Howard does nothing but carry a clipboard this season.

  • go wvu

    win,,, lets see if we win more than 4..

    i can see 2 on this years schedule,, providing trickett is tougher this year

  • Tim C

    Trickett will be fine as long as the O-Line can protect him. The O-Line is our key to success.

    • OldSkool

      Always is.

    • Ole Sasquatch


  • ThatGuyOverThere

    I really hope that Clint Trickett can stay healthy, have a good senior season, and lead our team to a respectable season. He is a genuine person and deserves a good season, we fans deserve a good season...Lets go Mountaineers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aaron

    I'm not sure what the point of the article is other than to try to disparage this young man.

  • william

    Trickett is the "ONLY" option.
    What a sad day to be a Mountaineer fan wherever you may be.
    Dana "The Man in Black" will be fire soon!

    • ridgerunner

      doubtful, but if he does get fired William, he will still drive a better car than your mom's Pinto. Which, may I remind you she won't let you drive. I hate seeing you walking to McD's for the nite shift. LOL!

      • jschmoe


        If we go 2-10 or 3-9 he could be gone. He has this season and one more at the most to stay. I am not talking about 12-0. He must go 8-4

        • FNP

          No he has to go 6-6 or better.

          • Jay

            I agree. 6-6 or better gets Dana Holgorsen into the William Crest era.

    • Jay

      How does one become fire?

      • J the C

        No, I think he meant to say "fired soon". Good one, Jay.. I want to go on record as saying that this is not a reply to Slick Willie's post, as is against my policy, but rather a response to Jay's clever comment.

      • pat

        I'm thinking he meant to say on fire after we beat Alabama.

    • cmort

      Thats right Willy On fire!! You are such a A#%#