The West Virginia quarterback situation is more than a little precarious going into the game against Texas Tech this Saturday. WVU quarterback Clint Trickett took questions from the media Tuesday after practice.
Of course there were really only four questions asked, worded differently by each reporter. It was also later announced that quarterback Ford Childress is out for the season with a torn pectoral (chest) muscle.
The following are my observations and impressions of Tuesday’s press interview with WVU quarterback Clint Trickett:
Question: “How is your shoulder?”
Trickett: "As close to 100% as it's going to get." That was very diplomatic, subtle and shrewd. He didn't lie, but he made it sound as though his shoulder is almost healed. Let's read that again, bearing in mind that 10 days ago he was in excruciating pain.
"It’s as close to 100% as it's going to get." He did not say, "It's fine now, it’s healing, maybe back to 90%." He did not say it would be even better by game time. He implied that it's as good as it's going to get pending an invasive treatment or at least a lengthy one.
It sounds to me as though playing is not going to make it any worse, but the question is, how effective can he be? He even said that timing with his receivers is not a problem. He even said that the Mountaineers had a very good practice on Tuesday. We'll see.
Question: "Who is going to start against Texas Tech?" This question was also worded as, "Who took the most reps in practice?" That's it, catch him off guard and get a scoop!
Trickett: "The coaches haven't told us yet. The reps were about even between Paul (Millard) and me in practice."
Question: "Yeah, but who got the most?" Ingenious, if they did an odd number of reps, one of them had to have taken the most!
Trickett: "They were pretty much 50-50." Trickett is not getting duped into this one, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. He was very smiley and upbeat.
Question: "What about the communication breakdown between you and the coaches? Has that been worked out? Do you know the plays?”
Trickett: ”They’ve changed and simplified the signals so I can read them now." They got you Clint! Why change the signals for you if you’re not starting?
Question: "How well did practice go today as far as timing between you and the receivers?" Translation: "Can you throw a halfway decent pass this week"
Trickett: "Oh yeah, timing is not a problem. We had a good day today." Translation: "Screw you!"
I've been around the block a time or two and I am a retired cop. I've been trained extensively in interrogation. There is no question in my mind that unless something changes between now and Saturday, Trickett is starting.
The question is who will finish? Can the team doctors stabilize Trickett's shoulder with cortisone shots and physical therapy to make him effective? Hopefully Millard has been taught remedial footwork 101 during the off week.
There is also the issue of Pat Eger's snaps from center. It's a fumble waiting to happen. Other than that, WVU should be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
The Texas Tech lines are a combination of talented and experienced players along with others starting for the first year. The Mountaineers have a size advantage up front. As I said in my previous article, WVU matches up well personnel wise against Texas Tech this year.
If the Mountaineers can establish a running game, here comes another upset of a ranked team. The coaches know each other very well. They know what each other is going to do. The team that executes, blocks and tackles the best will win. They usually do.