Trickett gets starting nod
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen will make the change at quarterback this week against Oklahoma State that many fans have been clamoring for, but not because of any outcry.
Redshirt freshman Ford Childress has an injury to a pectoral muscle in his chest and has not practiced this week. His replacement will be Clint Trickett.
Holgorsen announced both the injury to Childress and Trickett's promotion on his radio show Thursday night.
Trickett and Paul Millard competed for the job this week in practice and Holgorsen decided on Trickett. He will make his first start - and really his first legitimate appearance - Saturday when West Virginia hosts No. 11 Oklahoma State at Mountaineer Field. He will be WVU's third starting quarterback this season and the third in the last four games.
Trickett, who transferred from Florida State this summer after two years as the backup there, has played just six snaps this season, coming on back-to-back series in the season opener against William & Mary. Millard started that game, and when the offense struggled Trickett was used in the second quarter.
He fared no better, throwing two incompletions and taking a sack, and Millard went back in. Millard finished that game and played all four quarters the following week in a loss at Oklahoma before Holgorsen opened up the quarterback competition. Childress, who had been the No. 3 quarterback until then, jumped ahead of Millard and Trickett and played every snap the last two games.
Childress has not been impressive. He threw for 359 yards in his first start, but it was against a poor Georgia State team, and then had an 11-for-22 passing performance against Maryland last week that produced just 62 yards and two interceptions in a 37-0 loss. But until his injury, Holgorsen insisted that Childress would be given a chance to grow and improve in the position.
Fans have clamored for Trickett almost since the start of the season because as West Virginia's offense struggles, the most experienced quarterback on the roster sits. Trickett was the backup to E.J. Manuel at Florida State the last two seasons and played in 17 games. He started twice, against Clemson and Wake Forest, and made an emergency appearance against then-No. 1 Oklahoma.
As fall camp wound down, Trickett appeared to be leading the three-man quarterback derby, but Holgorsen chose Millard as his opening-game starter because the two-year backup to Geno Smith was more familiar with the offense, which Trickett has been learning only since May.
Holgorsen also said Thursday night that he would likely make some changes along the offensive line, including moving left tackle Quinton Spain to guard this week. He also said that redshirt freshman Adam Pankey, out all spring and this season with a knee injury, could play Saturday.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.