MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With West Virginia just two weeks away from facing No. 2-ranked Alabama in Atlanta, Clint Trickett wants his teammates to attack Saturday’s camp-closing scrimmage like a game.

“I’m going to tell our guys that we need to take it as you’re not playing against Daryl Worley, you’re playing against Alabama,” the quarterback said Friday.

The former Florida State quarterback, feeling emboldened in his second season at West Virginia, said the offense needs to maximize its final full-contact preseason scrimmage. With 17 of 22 players returning on the offensive two-deep, the unit has benefitted from a level of continuity that was missing in 2013.

Saturday presents one more chance to gauge how far Trickett and the offense have progressed against a defense that also figures to be improved.

“The next couple weeks we’re going to be going against scouts, so we’re not going to get the good-on-good looks as we have during camp,” he said.

Trickett’s previous two trips to the Georgia Dome produced great memories. He was a redshirt freshman when FSU upset No. 19 South Carolina at the 2010 Peach Bowl. Five seasons before that, he watched his dad as an assistant coach when West Virginia stunned Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Recent Mountaineers practices have featured crowd noise blaring from stadium speakers, as coaches prep for the 71,000-plus expected in Atlanta.

“That atmosphere can creep up on you,” Trickett said. “The sound in that dome, it stays in there. And those SEC bands, they play their music loud and proud. There’s so much pageantry.”

Per the Chick-fil-A Kickoff contract, Alabama received 31,000 tickets and West Virginia received 25,000, with Crimson Tide fans reportedly scarfing up most of the at-large tickets. Alabama has played in the dome six times during Nick Saban’s seven seasons and boasts a large alumni base in Atlanta, which sits less than 90 minutes from the Alabama state line.

Trickett anticipates a road game atmosphere: “We travel well—we always do—but I would think the majority would be Alabama fans because it’s right down the road.”

Despite spending six childhood years in Auburn while his father Rick was an assistant for the Tigers, Trickett said he later became a “huge Alabama fan.”

That was during his sophomore and junior years at North Florida Christian, where receiver Melvin Ray was an Alabama commitment who wound up chasing a pro baseball career before walking on at Auburn.

“I went up with (Ray) all the time on his visits” to Tuscaloosa, said Trickett, who ultimately considered transferring to Auburn last year before choosing WVU. He typically doesn’t pick sides during the Iron Bowl.

“I’m a fan of both, honestly,” he said. “I respect Coach Saban and love Coach Malzahn. They’re two of the best.

“That’s THE greatest rivalry in college football, hands down. They care about football and they’re good at it. They put a quality product on the field. They’re two damn good football teams.”

While Trickett beat out Paul Millard for WVU’s quarterback job, he admits he’ll never match his fellow senior in ping-pong.

“No one on the team can beat him,” Trickett said. “”He’s a phenomenal ping-pong player. It’s outstanding actually—it’s freaky. I try to get him every day and I can’t score a point on him.”

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  • any major dude

    And as long as Trickett's arm doesn't actually fall off, the guy can play with pain, and play well. With some guys mental toughness is more important than physical toughness, because when they want to win bad enough, they don't notice the pain.

    • DonnieB

      Trickett would rather be hunting and fishing than playing football. He holds the keys to our season and it's another reason Holgs will be gone soon.

  • any major dude

    Clint himself will admit he's not as big and strong as he would like to be physically (see Ole Sasquatch as below). How this plays out is anybody's guess. However, if mental toughness, leadership, and experience count for anything, he'll be aight!

    • Aaron

      "if mental toughness, leadership, and experience count for anything... "

      Some people think those are more important than physical attributes.

  • Sam

    BTW any reports on the scrimmage?

  • Ole Sasquatch

    People have to understand that Trent does have a form of Celiac disease. As I refer to below (Bo Orlando) trying to relate size to strength or athletic ability don't always work.

    • Sam


      • Ole Sasquatch

        My bad.

  • T.

    Trickett looks so skinny and frail. I fear that he will be injured easily. I hope he is stronger than he looks!

  • Raging Moderate

    Ron You missed our trouncing of Bamuh!

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    I'm pretty good at ping pong I think I could give him a good match (game ? ) . I noticed a few bars have ping pong tables instead if pool tables . Is this game gaining in popularity ? All well and good from camp . Everybody getting along , getting better , enthusiasm is high , getting a good rhythm on offense , everything clicking , D playing hard , playing assignment football , everybody doing their job , field goal kicker booming them from 60 , no injuries , DH staying out of trouble - no accidents , drinking that Red Bull , weather been great , Shell ain't complaining , Smallwood beat the rap , walk on's get to eat , punter mustache never looked better , new suite almost done , did I miss anything ?

  • Raging Moderate

    I couldn't agree more, but we want to schedule the turtles and the 'pack. WVU vs NC State. Now there a rivalry! Lots of scintillating history to tell your grandchildren about!

  • MonicaMountaineer

    Clint is a nice QB, quite groovy. On to more important things... Is Clint single? He'd make a great catch!

  • Aaron

    I went to two Iron bowls back when some guy named Bo played. I've been to numerous backyard brawls, the first when Hostetler faked a dive and went around right end to score the winning TD in 1983, the last in 2011 when WVU rallied to beat a very bad Pitt team 21-20.

    Nationally, the Iron Bowl may be a higher ranked bowl but give me the Brawl any day of the week.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Maybe it was Bo Orlando. Played in the pros. Small but moved like an elf. E. Carol. ran an end run against us. Bo (Safety) had sole outside responsibility, weighed about 170lbs. With a big pulling guard bearing down on him - he actually got down on 1 knee and with no more than a couple of feet separating him from being crushed by the block, like lightning he was up and out of the way making a solo tackle on the nifty running back. Spent lot of time in pros playing with Houston mostly. Unbelievably benched over 400lbs. Extreme agility & flexibility.

    • jwwswvu

      The backyard brawl is much bigger for wvu fans than Pitt fans. Love the game bit nowhere near Iron Bowl or other big rivalries.

    • Ron - from Morgantown

      Huge difference - IN state rivalries are everywhere in college football and should be more intense than games between schools from different states . Alabama is no different than a dozen other states who have fierce in state battles between schools . That's what makes the WVU Pitt rivalry so special . Not only does it cross state lines, it is also a cultural clash between an industrial big city in the North against a small quiet college town in the South . It's two exact opposites . The fan base couldn't be more different . You don't get that kind of clash with the in state rivalries . I guess the best college football rivalry between schools not in the same state would be Ohio State - Michigan .

      • Neal

        This is why I'm in favor of playing Marshall every year. As a WVU alum I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I absolutely love instate college rivalries. Theres something different about them that makes the game bigger. And we sure need close rivals these days. And you never know if we played it every year maybe one day it would grow into a game with national significance, which would be great for the state. Btw I have no connections to Marshall at all.

        • Aaron

          With 12 games I would like to see them play Marshall every year as well. I think luck should negotiate with Hamrick and do a three for two series.

          • Neal

            Sorry meant 3 for 2 might be a good compromise.

          • Neal

            A 2 for 1 might be a good compromise to appease the seeming majority of WVU fans that don't want to play this game. I have a feeling that Marshall may not go for that though since they are scheduling one for one deals with other big 5 conference schools.

            Those WVU fans who think we would lose recruits to Marshall if we lost to them need to look at the bigger picture. I know it would be a small drop in the bucket, but we need to start doing things like this to shed the image that WV is a small state that has nothing worth coming here for. I lived outside of the state for several years and got sick and tired of the WV jokes. Let's do something that actually wants to make people come here, not the other way around.

        • Jay

          I agree. I'm a diehard WVU fan, but follow Marshall also. Loved he game, although most were one sided. I think it is safe to say Marshall had the better team last year. The series ended just in time for WVU.

  • any major dude

    If I lived in Georgia, I'd be an Alabama fan too.

  • question allan??

    Any word on Banks today?? Didn't know if you saw him?

    • Mister Man

      Nobody saw him.

    • Allan Taylor

      Saw Icky hanging around the team room with Ricky Rumph and a couple other players. Looked healthy and happy.

      • thanks

        Thanks for the information!

      • Mister Man

        Did you not say nobody saw him on the field, Allan?

        • Allan Taylor

          Correct, Mister Man—on Thursday, we didn't see him during our half-hour viewing session. (Mind you, the total practice lasted two hours.) Today, I saw him outside the building as I was leaving player interviews.

          • Mister Man

            Aight den.

  • truth teller

    Gee, no comments on an Allan Taylor story. Maybe all the comments are 'awaiting moderation". The dumb a--es at metro news don't want to ever say anything that their aunt Martha would blush over. What a bunch of losers. JR and his band of small fish in a mud puddle show once again what a loser he is if put on a national stage with other broadcasting networks.

    • Allan Taylor

      Our comment moderation policy is semi-automated: Any profane words (or their various, creative spellings and usages) send them to an awaiting moderation cue where they must be manually approved. Inserted weblinks due the same (an anti-spam measure). First-time IP addresses also are flagged, though if approved, they're remembered and OK'd in the future. Any insulting or completely nonsensical comment has its IP address flagged and must be manually approved thereafter. And here's a tip, Truth: If you resort to using hangman dashes to circumvent the profanity block, you're not helping your cause.

      • Shawn 108

        There's no need to cuss at each other any way. I'm not the brightest light on the scoreboard but using all that profanity is just a lack of vocabulary. Hope I spelled that right! Lol

      • Hop'sHip

        Someone has to read all the insulting and nonsensical comments and manually approve them? Hope they are eligible for overtime. Also hope this nonsensical comment will be approved. Otherwise I may have to resort to insults.

      • funky

        How does one get off the moderation list?

    • Mister Man

      I thought the network did a pretty good job. I just wish it could have signed a contract with IMG.

      • Hard to Handle

        Relax, Truth Teller. The story had been posted for less than an hour on a Friday afternoon when you made your silly comment. Those of us who hold jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to society haven't had a chance to comment yet. That means anger-management candidates like you get first crack. ... And if you think the radio broadcasts IMG settled for last year were of higher quality, you're delusional.

  • any major dude

    Was that Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia really nine years ago? Wow, time really does fly by, doesn't it?

  • Mister Man

    I just got back from Morgantown. I wish I could have stayed for the scrimmage. Good luck guys.