West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett either cannot learn the coaches play signals or he is ignoring them. That is becoming more and more obvious. Against Oklahoma State, the frustration caused coach Holgorsen to destroy headsets. Baylor was simply destroying the Mountaineers.
There is no point in rehashing the debacle in Waco, Texas on Saturday regarding the ridiculous score and yardage. My fellow writer and others have covered that quite well.
But there is another issue that must be dealt with and resolved immediately. As the coaches put it in post-game interviews, they have a communication problem. Coaches Holgorsen and Dawson made that clear in their remarks to the press immediately after the game with Baylor.
The coaches indicated that the plays being run by Clint Trickett even to start the game were not the ones the team had planned, practiced, and were called by the coaches. A communication breakdown is obviously occurring. I'm wondering if it's intentional on Trickett's part.
Most commonly, the first few plays run by an offense are pretty much scripted. The coaches have certain plays they want to run to see how the defense reacts and what is effective. Instead, Trickett repeatedly threw ill-advised long passes down field in an apparent attempt to make a quick strike.
That was a problem. Not only because the receivers were not open, but also because Trickett was obviously still suffering from an injury to his throwing arm. To say his passes were a little off the mark is being very generous. And the passes were not called by the coaches.
The long passes were repeatedly called by Trickett. Holgorsen said earlier in the week that WVU could not win a shootout against Baylor. You avoid that by using long sustained drives with runs and short passes to keep their offense off the field.
Even if Trickett's throwing arm had been healthy, trying to trade scores with a team averaging 70 points a game while your team averages 20 is ridiculous. With the upcoming bye week, WVU has time to heal and regroup.
Also during that time, the coaches have some important decisions to make. Trickett is the WVU quarterback of choice when he is healthy and runs the plays called by the coaches. He has experience, mobility and the strongest arm of the three Mountaineer quarterbacks.
Trickett is apparently not buying into the WVU system, instead using what he learned at Florida State in a misguided attempt to help the Mountaineers win. That obviously did not work against Baylor. Trickett was 9 of 28 passing for 161 yds. with one touchdown and an interception.
Working within the system against Baylor's second string, Paul Millard was 8 of 13 passing for 115 yds. and two touchdowns. In an interview, coach Holgorsen said, "I'm not doing something right evidently, because there were a lot of times in the first couple of series (with Trickett) where I was giving him specific orders and they weren't being followed," he said. "So I'm not doing something right. I'll keep trying to work on it."
I'll bet he will. And I wouldn't be surprised if Trickett finds a place on the bench. No matter how talented a player may be, insubordination to the coaches will destroy a team.