West Virginia stuns 11th-ranked Oklahoma State
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Artistically, Clint Trickett's debut as West Virginia's starting quarterback will be looked upon more as a Picasso than a Rembrandt.
But it certainly was a one-of-a-kind effort that pleased WVU fans everywhere, especially those who have been clamoring for coach Dana Holgorsen to start Trickett ever since he transferred home from Florida State.
After quarterback Ford Childress was hurt in a 37-0 loss to Maryland, and with No. 11 Oklahoma State coming to town, it was play Trickett, ready or not.
The result was one of WVU's more memorable upsets, 30-21, over the nearly three-touchdown favored Cowboys (3-1, 0-1 Big 12).
“It was a tough week,” Holgorsen said. “The whole week was challenging. I am really proud of our team, though. The coaches and the players stayed the course.”
Trickett was not Geno Smith and, he would admit, “I ain't Pat White, that's for sure.”
But he was good enough to complete 24 of 50 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown. Much of the game was played with an aching shoulder.
“That's part of the game,” he said. “You play through it.”
Trickett gutted it out, hustled, evaded the pass rush and hit passes when he had to.
The son of a former WVU assistant who grew up in Morgantown, Trickett got to stand on the field following the upset, his childhood friend Tyler Anderson, a WVU linebacker next to him, singing “Country Roads” with his teammates and the crowd.
“That was pretty cool,” Trickett said.
And it happened because Trickett did what he does best — improvise.
“Clint did a great job of keeping plays alive,” Holgorsen said. “I had sense he could do it. He's been getting better and better and better.”
It was cornerback Ishmael Banks who actually got West Virginia (3-2, 1-1) rolling.
WVU trailed 7-0 in the first quarter after Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh hit Josh Stewart on 73-yard touchdown pass. But less than two minutes later, Banks intercepted Walsh and ran it back 58 yards for the tying score.
“This gave us some pep in our step and some swagger,” Banks said.
After that Trickett took over, helped by a great catch from Kevin White for his first collegiate touchdown to give WVU a 14-7 lead, followed by the first of three Josh Lambert field goals to make it 17-7.
Walsh hit Tracy Moore with a 27-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 17-14 but Charles Sims blasted in from the 1 to stake the Mountaineers a 24-14 halftime lead.
Walsh's 30-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Seaton narrowed it to 24-21 in the third quarter, but WVU got a break when Ben Grogan's 23-yard attempt at a tying field goal hit the upright with 9:47 to play.
Lambert put the game away with a pair of fourth-quarter field goals.
“I want to compliment our fans,” Holgorsen said. “There was a lot of talk about people giving up on this team, that we were going to get blown out. I did not sense that out on Mountaineer Field.”
Bob Hertzel is a freelance writer.