Clint Trickett set a career high in passing yards — for a second straight game — and looked like the player his coaches and teammates spoke so glowingly about throughout a month of preseason practices.
The West Virginia quarterback led the offense down the field a few times against one of college football’s best defenses Saturday, and did it sometimes with a pace that gave Alabama problems. He threw deep and short passes, he threw tight and touch passes, and he never once winced in a way that made observers question the stability of his surgically repaired throwing shoulder.
Trickett was not perfect. He missed open receivers for first downs and touchdowns and he checked down to a running back on fourth-and-12 on WVU’s final play of the game. Yet he was far from the 2013 version and free of many of the variables that contributed to his 2-5 record as the starter.
The implication seemed obvious: It’s time to start looking differently at this quarterback and, by extension, this offense.