MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The euphoria from West Virginia’s victory over Baylor was minutes old Saturday afternoon when Clint Trickett’s mom revealed the news she had been suppressing all day.
“That first time you hear that your dad had a heart attack, you’re like ‘What?’” Trickett said. “That’s tough.”
Rick Trickett, the former WVU offensive line coach now in his eighth season at Florida State, was admitted to a Tallahassee hospital Saturday morning. Because his condition quickly stabilized, the family decided to let Clint play with a clear head in what turned out to be the Mountaineers’ first win over a top-five team in 11 seasons.
The senior quarterback, already weakened and dehydrated by a 24-hour pregame illness, played much of the second half with a swollen right hand after hitting a blitzer’s face mask on a follow-through. Trickett still passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-27 upset that springboarded West Virginia into contention for the Big 12 title.
He wasn’t sure how the game would have transpired had he known of his dad’s situation.
“When you first hear it, it’s an emotional event,” Trickett said. “It opens your eyes. That’s the first time I’ve had that happen with a parent.”
Trickett bypassed postgame interviews to call his dad, who sounded most disappointed about having to miss Florida State’s prime-time game against Notre Dame.
“When he was upset about not coaching, I was like, ‘Just retire. Come watch me play in Canada next year,’” Trickett said. “I love my dad. I want him to live forever.”
The scare made Trickett even more grateful for the three seasons he spent at FSU. Despite appearing in only a handful of games, the quarterback appreciated the chance to share memories and bond with his father, whose demanding schedule rarely allowed him to see Trickett play in high school.
“I wouldn’t trade that time for anything,” Clint said.
Late Saturday night, as the Seminoles staved off Notre Dame in one of the season’s most controversial finishes, Rick Trickett reportedly gave his heart quite a test by watching, yelling and cheering from his hospital room. On Sunday, he was released.
“Back to his old normal self,” said Clint, who returned to his life as a student-athlete amid an outpouring of get-well wishers. “I’ve received so much support from everyone—teammates, coaches, fans, even fake Twitters of me.”
Notre Dame penalty? As a former FSU player, Clint Trickett saluted the offensive pass interference flag that cost Notre Dame the upset. As a quarterback, he was less enthused.
“That call never gets made, but (Notre Dame’s inside receiver) tackled the guy, so you have to call it,” Trickett said.
“If just keeps his feet moving and doesn’t put his hands on him, it’s a touchdown and the end of the game. But the guy went in there and sumo wrestled him.”