Trickett Healing, Communicating Ahead of Tech - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Trickett Healing, Communicating Ahead of Tech

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MORGANTOWN -

The bye week is typically a time to get healthy, but head coach Dana Holgorsen had to announce on Tuesday that there are a number of injury concerns remaining across West Virginia's roster.

First of all, the Mountaineers will be without the services of defensive lineman Christian Brown, who was lost to the season after suffering a foot injury in the weight room a few weeks ago. Linebacker Wes Tonkery is out six weeks with a broken thumb suffered in the loss to Baylor and Ricky Rumph is day-to-day as he recovers from his own setback.

The good news for WVU is linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski will be back on the field this week after sitting out the past two games. Prior to his injury, Kwiatkoski had been one of the Mountaineers' most consistent defenders and top tacklers on the year.

Time off has also worked well for the quarterbacks, especially Clint Trickett. The junior, coming off of his second start of the season, admitted that the pain he faced in Waco as significant. He worked to fight through it, but his face did little to hide the fact that he each time he raised his arm, much less threw a football, his shoulder was on fire.

"It was numb, but then there was still some pain there," Trickett said of his arm after taking painkillers. "But that was last game and I'm good to go now. That was in the past, just have to keep going."

He says now that he is as close to 100 percent as he will be, though continuing to recover from a shoulder injury that has slowed him since he first suffered it in the win over Oklahoma State. He used the bye week to stay off of the shoulder and give it time to rest before returning to the practice field this week.

"A lot of ice, a lot of treatment, a lot of time in the training room, but obviously it's worth it and I feel pretty good," he said.

Trickett enters this week of practice like he has any other, with the idea that by Saturday, he will have proven himself worthy of the starting position in the game.

With Texas Tech coming to town, there is another top 20 team with the third-ranked passing offense on the horizon. The potential is there for WVU's offense to be counted on to deliver points stride-for-stride with the nation's No. 14 scoring offense providing a tough test for the Mountaineers' defenders.

Trickett, or whoever lines up behind center, will have a tough task in trying to get back on track against a formidable opponent, but the quarterback seems optimistic about what he has seen in practice.

"Offense played very well today," Trickett said of Tuesday's practice. "It was a high-energy practice. It was fun. A lot of trash talking back and forth on both sides, which is good. Very competitive practice."

One of the biggest aspects of his game that Trickett must work on is the communication with the sidelines, which has proven to be a major hang-up on his progression since he joined the team. Both player and coach say there have been major strides in that department during the off week. 

"The communication with Clint has gotten a lot better," said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. "We have done some things on our end to clear some questions up, so it has gotten better. We have also switched a few things around, which has really helped."

Trickett says the communication from Holgorsen's hands to his eyes has been simplified, but in the past, if he didn't understand what his head coach wanted him to run, he sometimes resorted to his best improv act.

"If I don't get the full signal, I can sometimes piece it all together and I'll know, well, we've repped this in practice so he probably wants this," said Trickett. "And then if I have no idea what he's talking about, then I'll just go out there and try and make up something to put our team in the best position."

The explanation is concerning, even if the results have sometimes been positive.

If Trickett and the rest of the offense can get their act together this week and keep the ball moving, there may be more than just on-field success on the line. Or perhaps the better way to put that is there may be more for the line, as in the offensive line.

After the win over Oklahoma State, Trickett took out his five linemen to a local Japanese Steakhouse for dinner because he was only sacked one time. One or less and the QB is treating his front five.

"They didn't go this past week," Trickett said to a chorus of laughter.  

It's a new week, and touchdowns, wins and dinners are all back on the table. 

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