There’s no doubt something is missing from the West Virginia offense this season. What was the strength of the team for the past two seasons has now become a major weakness.
“Offensively, we’re not equipped to keep up at this point in time. Hopefully we get there at some point,” said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Following redshirt junior quarterback Clint Trickett’s first start against No. 11 Oklahoma State, head coach Dana Holgorsen stressed that the communication between the coach and quarterback needed improvement.
During Saturday’s 73-42 loss to No. 17 Baylor, Trickett and Holgorsen seemed to be on entirely different pages several times during the game.
“I’m not doing something right,” Holgorsen said. “There (were) a lot of times in the first couple of series’ where I was giving (Trickett) specific orders, and they weren’t being followed.”
On a third down in the first quarter, Holgorsen sent in junior quarterback Paul Millard to replace Trickett for two plays, but Trickett returned on the next drive.
“That’s why (Millard) went in early ... we weren’t getting called what I felt like needed to get called,” Holgorsen said.
Trickett went 9-28, throwing for 161 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Bears. He was taken out several times during the game. Trickett said he believes there were communication problems between he and Holgorsen throughout the game.
“There were communication problems … It’s going to happen,” Trickett said. “You’ve just got to adapt and move on.”
In the fourth quarter, when the game was all but over, Holgorsen put Millard back in and let him finish the game.
While it didn’t matter much in the end, Millard was able to move the West Virginia offense down the field and put up points.
“You’ve got to be ready at all times … Whenever you’ve got to step in there and make a play you’ve got to be ready,” Millard said. “It’s not the easiest thing to do in the world, running in there cold, but it’s the task at hand now.”
A week after Trickett won the job with a gutsy performance in a 30-21 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State, it appears the quarterback competition is far from over; Holgorsen said he will reevaluate the situation during the bye week.
“I have to look at it. I thought Paul did some good things when he went in there, and I though Clint did some good things when he went in there,” Holgorsen said. “We’re going to need them both.
“We probably could have put (Childress) in there, but he’s not quite ready because he hasn’t had the practice reps. You’re going to need him at some point…
“The guy who kind of has the hot hand is the guy we’ll end up going with.”
Now at the half-way point in their season, the Mountaineers’ record sits at 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12.
Now on a bye week, Holgorsen will have two weeks to improve the communication issues with his quarterback, whomever that may be, that have contributed to the poor production from West Virginia’s offense this season.
West Virginia returns to action Oct. 19 when No. 20 Texas Tech comes to Morgantown.