It was frequently short duty and Millard sometimes knew he was coming out of the game quickly, or that he could be removed if he didn't function properly. It could weigh on his play.
"You get in more of a rhythm when you know you're playing," he said. "And it's hard coming in a game when you're cold."
Trickett was 0-for-2 - one pass was dropped by receiver Mario Alford - and took a sack. The Mountaineers didn't get a first down with him in the game, but Millard also struggled when he came in to relieve Trickett. He held onto the ball for too long and lost the fumble when he was sacked.
Holgorsen was otherwise satisfied with Millard and said he'll start Saturday's 7 p.m. game at No. 16 Oklahoma (1-0). The game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be televised by Fox.
"He did a good job managing game," Holgorsen said. "I thought he got us into several really good run checks. Other than the one sack he took that was really on him - and he had good ball security with two hands on the ball, but they still got it out - he did a good job running the offense and he completed 80 percent of his passes."
Holgorsen and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson felt good about how fast Millard played on the first few drives and how well he handled changing from shotgun, pistol and under-center formations. Dawson said Millard made good decisions changing from run to pass and pass to run at the line of scrimmage and only went the wrong way with a throw a few times.
He had one close call on an interception on a screen pass into a crowd in the fourth quarter that was nearly caught and returned for a touchdown, but Dawson liked how Millard stayed out of trouble.
"He did throw a ball out of bounds," Dawson said, somewhat sarcastically. "Huge. You can do that?"
Millard's overall performance served as the continuation of a trend that led him to the starting role. As the coaches grew to favor Millard's familiarity with the offense and his advanced ability to take Holgorsen's signals and turn them into directions for the offense, Millard settled in and addressed weaknesses while making the most of his strengths.
"The same thing happened for me in high school," he said. "It was my sophomore year in high school and I wasn't playing on the varsity squad and then in one offseason things clicked for me.
"I would say I knew the system the past few years by seeing it all the time and knowing what the coaches want, but I think I've done a better job with that now - and it's definitely something I need to improve on."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.