MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Though the news didn't come until late Thursday, West Virginia knew at the start of a week that ended with a needed win against No. 11 Oklahoma State that quarterback Ford Childress would not play.
In fact, the Mountaineers knew the redshirt freshman was ailing for a while before he was sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle.
"It was strained a few weeks," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson said after backup Clint Trickett led WVU to a 30-21 victory. "I could tell from him grabbing it. It was a strained muscle for a week, a week-and-a-half. From what he told me after the game, it was torn in the first quarter in the Maryland game.
"Obviously, the kid's got an indented pec now and a muscle that's missing. The positive to that is he played through it, but he couldn't throw the ball 10 feet Tuesday. I appreciate him playing through the pain, but it'd be nice to communicate a little better probably."
Communication remained an issue throughout Trickett's third career start and first with WVU since transferring as a graduate student from Florida State in April. He continues to learn how to digest Coach Dana Holgorsen's play call signals from the sideline.
"The operation was incredibly frustrating," Holgorsen said. "I threw a couple temper tantrums I'm quite embarrassed about."
Then there was the time a Cowboys defender drove Trickett into the turf in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Trickett needed some time to get to his feet as the play clock ticked away, and the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) ended up taking a delay of game penalty.
"That's his competitive spirit, but, dude, if you get hurt, lie down, let somebody come tend to you so we don't get a delay of game," Holgorsen said.
Trickett left the game and went to the training room to have his right shoulder evaluated. Trickett, who had the shoulder iced and wrapped after the game, called it a "little nick" and said it hurt when he left the field, but that it went away quickly enough that he only missed one snap.
He's expected to be fine for Saturday's 8 p.m. game at No. 17 Baylor (3-0). The matchup will be televised by Fox Sports 1.
Trickett returned the next series and threw on all three downs of a three-and-out. WVU called pass plays on five of the first six snaps of the next series.
"He was fine," said Dawson, who coaches the game from WVU's box above the field.
"My conversation with him, his mindset was always, 'I'm playing.' We took him out basically because at that specific moment in the game, we didn't know if he could take the next rep. But his mentality was he was never coming out of the game."