West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett doesn't have the luxury of playing against a cupcake in his first start for the Mountaineers. Unfortunately, he has to prove himself against the team favored to win the Big 12.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 3-0, averaging 45 points per game and are allowing an average of 14 to opponents. The Cowboys are also coming off a bye week so they are rested, healed and have had extra time to prepare for WVU.
WVU is coming off a blowout loss where the offensive line had its worst game of the season. That is not the ideal situation for a quarterback to start his first game for the Mountaineers. So head coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive line coach Ron Crook are making some major changes to hopefully assist Trickett in his attempt to turn the WVU team around. Well, not exactly.
Coach Holgorsen took responsibility for the embarrassment in Baltimore and made it clear that he still believes in this Mountaineer team. During his Tuesday afternoon press briefing Holgorsen said, "If I'm sitting here in front of you saying they quit, we're not getting the effort we want, we got attitude problems… but none of that is existing. So I'm comfortable standing here saying whatever we're missing, I think we're that close to being a damn good football team."
Coach Crook also defended the WVU offensive line after the game in an interview saying, "I didn't prepare them very well, we didn't execute at the level we're used to and the first thing I had to do when that happens is look at myself and figure out how I can prepare them better, how I can get myself better prepared throughout the week."
The coaches did however, make one change and that's where Trickett's bodyguard comes in. Most of the pressure from the Maryland defense last week came right up the middle, effectively rattling Childress and stopping the run for most of the game.
Maryland repeatedly exploited the inexperience of redshirt sophomore Marquis Lucas at the left guard position. In the only line-up change other than at quarterback, Lucas is being replaced by redshirt junior Quinton Spain. That could be the final fine tuning of the offensive line for the remainder of the season.
If the 6'5"- 335 lb. Spain can't give the QB a little more time to operate, no one else on the Mountaineer team can. In addition to Spain at left guard, the offensive line will consist of 6'6"- 300 lb. r-so Nick Kindler at left tackle, 6'6"- 302 lb. r-s Pat Eger at center, 6'5"- 305 lb. r-jr Mark Glowinski at right guard, and 6'7"- 314 lb. r-s Curtis Feigt at right tackle.
Hopefully, a combination of real game experience by Clint Trickett and an effective bodyguard on the interior line will make for a more productive offense. Along with a vastly improved defense, maybe WVU can score enough points to make it a game. Or at least score.
Comments and/or debate always welcome!