Call it befuddling, bizarre, weird, strange or the adjective of your choice. But, fourth year West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen's announcement that fifth-year senior Clint Trickett would be the Mountaineers' starting quarterback when WVU takes on perennial national championship contender Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic should have been an expected one.
No present quarterback on WVU's depth chart has more starts as the leader of the old gold and blue than the former Florida State University signal-caller and none threw for more yards (1,602), touchdown passes (7) or completions (123) during last season's dismal 4-8 campaign.
It made not have been the popular decision, but it was a sound one based on the less-than-spectacular performances of would-be starters Paul Millard, Skylar Howard and Logan Moore this past spring.
A somewhat healthy Trickett did show signs of what Mountaineer fans could expect when he completed 24-of-50 attempts for 309 yards and a touchdown in a 30-21 victory over then-No. 11 Oklahoma State. He even looked solid in his final start last season when he completed 21-of-37 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-44 triple overtime loss to Iowa State.
The jury is still out as to the play of Howard, who threw for 3,151 yards and 33 touchdowns last season at Riverside (Calif.) College, following a mediocre spring and Millard's numbers after three seasons under Holgorsen-109-of-202 for 1,333 yards, 9 TD and 9 INT-just aren't enough for fans to get excited over.
As far as Moore and incoming freshman William Crest are concerned, the first is a solid athlete and had some sparkling moments during the spring game, but there is a reason why he was not recruited as a quarterback by a D-I school, while Crest will have to go through the same learning curves as Trickett, Howard, Millard and Moore when he reports to campus this summer.
Whether you agree with the decision or not it, is 'logical' as Star Trek's Mister Spock would say.
Trickett was the starter during half of WVU's wins in 2013-OSU and TCU. He has played in 'big' games with 17 appearances and two starts during his tenure at FSU. One of those starts witnessed him throw for 336 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the same Clemson team that WVU dismantled in the Orange Bowl.
Coaches have been and always will be over-evaluated on decisions they have to make. Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson are finding that out the hard way with their selection of Trickett after a spring where he was unable to challenge for the starting job. But, it is a decision with which they must live.
Should Trickett come out and have an outstanding game against the Crimson Tide, then stories around the state will laud the duo for standing behind their often-injured quarterback. However, a horrible performance followed by another 4-8 record will provide those who want a change in Morgantown the ammunition they need to see it happen.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org