Earning Their Respect

Clint Trickett made his way back to the locker room to get his shoulder looked at by team doctors.

The junior quarterback, starting his first game at West Virginia after transferring from Florida State, had taken a big hit to his throwing shoulder and slinked his way back to the sideline before leaving the field.

But then, in a tight game against the preseason Big 12 Conference favorite, Trickett returned for the Mountaineers' next series.

"I wasn't getting taken out of the game," he said.

"That's part of the game, getting injured and playing through it. We preach 'T.E.A.M.' and the 'T' is for toughness, and that's both mental and physical toughness. That's just part of it."

Behind Trickett's gutsy performance battling through the injury, West Virginia scored six points in the final quarter of the game to put away the then-No. 11 Cowboys and propel the Mountaineers to their first victory against a ranked opponent since last season's Texas game.

But the quarterback didn't just win the game in his first WVU start. He won over some of his teammates.

"He definitely won my respect," said freshman inside receiver Daikiel Shorts. "I was talking to him about it yesterday. The one hit he took in the end zone and he kind of just sat down for a little bit, I thought he was going to be done. But when he got back up and then came back out later, I was just like, 'Man, he's tough.'"

Trickett's status, like fellow quarterback Ford Childress, is up in the air as the Mountaineers prepare to travel to Waco, Texas, to take on another undefeated Big 12 team in Baylor.

According to WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, the 6-foot-2 signal caller did practice on Tuesday, but the staff is still unsure as to whether or not he will be ready to take over on Saturday.

If he's healthy, head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday that he would likely be West Virginia's starter against the Bears.

"If (Trickett and Childress) are both 100 percent, right now, we would probably go with Clint because he did a pretty good job of keeping the plays alive and had some savvy to him," Holgorsen said.

"These guys need to practice all three days this week, because we're dealing with guys who are so inexperienced. If they can't do that all three days, I doubt I'm going to put them in Thursday to play on Saturday. They need the reps, and if they don't have the reps throughout the course of the week, I'm not going to feel comfortable putting them out there."

Based on Holgorsen's comments, the fact that Trickett was able to go on Tuesday, and Childress did not, would look promising that he is on track to be the starter Saturday.

"He threw some today, he took some reps," Dawson said. "The main thing is going to be how he feels on Thursday and Friday.

"With the nature of what (the injury) is, it's probably more up to the player (than the athletic trainers)."


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