Trickett Fights Through Pain to Deliver for WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Trickett Fights Through Pain to Deliver for WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Country Roads echoed through the stadium, a song synonymous with victory on Mountaineer Field. The West Virginia University football team ran to greet the student section and sing along with them following a 30-21 win over the No. 11 team in the nation.

And there, in the middle, was Clint Trickett.

The junior transfer quarterback had just gotten his first start as a Mountaineer and with 309 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions on 24-of-50 passing, he led the offense to a win.

It wasn't long ago that Trickett, the son of former WVU offensive line coach Rick Trickett, was on the stands for such a moment. It wasn't long ago that the balls he tossed around on Mountaineer Field were only pregame as he waited to see some of his childhood heroes do the work when it counted.

Back then, he pictured himself in the scene that played out moments after he took the final knee of the game and sealed the upset. Saturday, he lived it.

"It was pretty cool. I saw some of my good friends I grew up with in the stands. It was a special moment," Trickett said after the game. "I know when I was trying to make my [transfer] decision, that song randomly came on one day and I was like, God, that's a sign. I love that song, love this state and [I'm] glad to be back."

Trickett met the media with an enormous bag of ice strapped to his throwing shoulder, indicative of an injury that cost him one snap in the game. He fought through it, returning to the field to finish the game in his first start as a Mountaineer.

"It was just a little nick on my shoulder. I'm fine, though," said Trickett. "I had to go inside and get it evaluated. Good to go, I came back out. I wasn't getting taken out of the game."

He may be downplaying the injury, as evidenced by his painful reaction when a teammate ran into his shoulder during the post game celebration, but he has no intention of relinquishing the position.

"That's part of the game, getting injured and playing through it," said Trickett. "We harp on ‘T.E.A.M.' and the T is for toughness and that's mental and physical toughness. That's just part of it. I didn't do anything super. Just what we're asked."

And that is important to understand right now. Trickett got his team a victory, but so have each of his predecessors. Clearly his opponent was far tougher than William and Mary and Georgia State, still the fact remains that there can be no crowning yet. There are seven games left on the schedule and each of the quarterbacks on the roster must stay focused for the possibility that they will be called on again.

Trickett's performance gave the team hope, opening up possibilities for the future of what looked like a lost season just a week ago. Whether or not WVU has turned some sort of a corner remains to be seen. Just as the Mountaineers shouldn't have been judged solely for the debacle against the Terrapins, their success against the Cowboys can't be the measuring stick now.

It seems, though, that Trickett's presence – a big point of emphasis from Holgorsen in camp – brought something to the table for WVU in this one.

"Confidence," Receiver Kevin White said of Trickett, who he called a ‘warrior' for toughing out his injury. "[Trickett was] Out there laughing, having a good time. It was a good feeling."

On a fourth quarter drive, with the game still in question, Trickett had a big smile on his face. He looked as though he were just carrying on a conversation rather than guiding a huddle. That calm that he possessed, having a good time while trying to seal a victory, could go a long way in calming the offense as a whole.

"That was the main thing Coach Holgorsen was harping on and it was apparent through the first four games, we weren't really having fun on offense," said Trickett. "We were pressing, everyone was a little tense, so I was like let's go have some fun. Let's throw some deep balls, you know, let's get it going. And we did that today."

The deep ball was a big reason for the incompletions on Trickett's stat sheet. He went downfield more often than Childress or Millard before him and while many of those that either hit the ground or a defender's hands were off target, others looked like his receivers had a chance and couldn't get in position to beat out the defender.

Those will likely be teaching points this week, because the big plays were available against Oklahoma State's defense, even if they weren't always capitalized on.

In addition to the downfield passing, Trickett showed an ability to move in the pocket and avoid pressure. He says perhaps the reason it took him until the fifth game to get his opportunity is because he is not as much of a practice player as he is in a game.

"Clint did a great job of keeping plays alive and we had a sense he could do that," Holgorsen said of his quarterback. "Just watching the film from when he was at Florida State, you could see he has that ability."

Then Holgorsen proceeded to point out that Trickett wasn't operating the offense correctly, causing the head coach to lose his cool on the sideline. It goes back to the communication and the reasons why he was the third quarterback to get his shot.

"It's the first start. I messed up a couple of things, but that's a part of it," said Trickett. "That's part of the game. He's a very animated guy, you've just got to – definitely not ignore it, but just move on and not listen to how he says it, but what he says."

Trickett moves on to the opportunity to lead his team against the Baylor Bears, looking to build on his first start. There likely won't be anyone playing Country Roads in Waco, but a win would still count as a win.

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