So...for the third time in five games, WVU will have another starting quarterback. This time though, it seems, that it was born of necessity as Ford Childress has suffered a pectoral muscle injury. With that in mind, Clint Trickett will be leading the WVU offense this weekend against the #11 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
This is the moment many fans have clamored for once they found out he was transferring from Florida State. He has four more weeks of experience in the offense, which was the major reason his chances have been limited thus far. Obviously the WVU offense is in need of a spark, but Trickett needs to perform in order to "Wally Pip" Ford Childress. If he struggles for an extended period of time (more than the two series he was afforded before), look to see Paul Millard back taking snaps once again. This quarterback carousel is either finally over or just beginning.
The Pokes are led by dual threat quarterback J.W. Walsh, who actually leads them in rushing with 182 yards. Not far behind him is running back Jeremy Smith who has 176 yards himself, averaging 4.8 a clip. Oklahoma State is basically running the same offense as WVU, with the added wrinkle of the read-option. As you can tell from the numbers, Walsh is a guy who can and does make it work. Our new buddy Robert Whetsell from Cowboys Ride For Free was quick to point out in our podcast that Walsh doesn't throw a pretty ball, but he does put it where it needs to be and OSU's offense is humming right along. On the receiving end of those passes are Josh Stewart who has 12 receptions for 185 yards and Jhajuan Seales with 11 receptions for 123 yards to his name.
Robert also made point to mention that former offensive coordinators Todd Monken and our own Dana Holgorsen would call plays looking for balance and to keep the defenses somewhat honest. Insert new guy Mike Yurcich who is of the mind set of running plays until they can be stopped. If the defense is struggling against the pass, they'll throw it 100 times or conversely he'll also keep running the ball until you can stop it.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys are led by NFL prospects Calvin Barnett on the defensive line and cornerback Justin Gilbert. Coach Holgorsen made note that OSU won't do too many crazy things scheme-wise to try and confuse the offense. There is, of course, one major exception to this: The Psycho Defense. The Psycho Defense is set up with seven or eight guys all standing in the "box" leading up to the snap. No indication is given who is headed upfield and who is dropping back into coverage. Keep your eyes open for this one.
Like the Oklahoma game earlier in the season, this has the earmarks of a blowout. I don't know what it is other than maybe blind optimism, but I feel like West Virginia will at least compete and make it a lot closer than the experts think. The Maryland game should be more than enough motivation for improvement, but Oklahoma State is a heck of a team to have to prove yourselves against.
Coach has said (and so have I, based on little things I've seen) that we're "this close" to doing good things. "This close" doesn't cut it in the Big 12. Has the team figured some things out this week? I guess we'll all find out tomorrow.