MORGANTOWN - Early in the fourth quarter of West Virginia's 16-7 loss at Oklahoma Saturday night, Clint Trickett warmed up during an injury timeout and even got on the phone to offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson up in the press box. It seemed all but certain that he was going to replace starter Paul Millard at quarterback.
Didn't happen. But coach Dana Holgorsen said it almost did on several occasions.
"Yeah, I did [think about it],'' Holgorsen said. "I almost did it.''
Why he didn't is perhaps the biggest question West Virginia fans were asking afterward. The Mountaineers scored just seven points. Millard, while making some good throws and decisions, also badly missed two receivers who had gotten behind the Oklahoma defense. And as the fourth quarter began, Millard seemed to be in one of those ruts that just beg a quarterback change if there is another one available.
Holgorsen later said he didn't use Trickett because the Florida State transfer isn't ready to handle some of the nuances and complexities of the offense. He played two series a week ago in the opener when WVU was using a bare bones game plan, but this week the plan had to be more complex.
It was more complex not just because of a rise in the level of competition, but because Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops know WVU's offense so well.
"They know all of our signals and they know all of our route combinations and we had to be smart with that. We had to put our guys in position offensively to where you aren't just going against a defense that knows exactly what you are going to do,'' Holgorsen said. "So we felt like it was in the best interest of our team to do some specific things, and that means the communication on the field had to be spot-on.
"Paul is the best we've got at that. Because Clint is inexperienced in our offense, I didn't feel comfortable doing that. But I thought about it a bunch.''