"In the first quarter, he slid and didn't get the first down and all I told him was, 'Look, if you're going to run it, know where the sticks are and then get down. Don't get down before that point,' " Dawson said. "The second one wasn't anything other than him not holding onto the ball."
Junior Paul Millard, who started the first two games and relieved Trickett at times during the first half against Baylor and then for most of the second half, played the final two drives against the Wildcats.
He was 4-for-14 and threw an interception. Combined with Trickett's 15-for-28 stat line, WVU completed 45 percent of its passes and averaged only 6.3 yards per attempt.
Kansas State, predominantly a running team and split between a running quarterback and a passing quarterback, completed 18 of 21 passes and averaged 13.9 yards per attempt.
"It keeps me up at night," Holgorsen said. "We're not playing winning offensive football. Are we improving? Does it look better at times? Yes. Is it good enough to win Big 12 football games? Absolutely not."
The Mountaineers didn't say the competition between Millard and Trickett would begin again as they prepare for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. ESPNU game at TCU. Dawson said playing Millard was only an attempt spark the offense when down 28-12 with 7:31 remaining, but Holgorsen left no doubt somebody had to submit a better performance than what he saw against the Wildcats.
"We've got to be able to throw to open people and complete it and Clint was not doing a good job of that," Holgorsen said.
Trickett sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder against Oklahoma State and it affected his throws against Baylor, when Trickett said he was numbed by medication, but still in pain. He said following the loss to Texas Tech that the shoulder wasn't a concern. Against Kansas State, he had to hurry to the locker room to get checked out before WVU's first possession in the third quarter.
"The frustration level is high," he said. "I'm frustrated with myself. Obviously I've got to play better. I'm tired of, 'Oh, well, he's hurt.' You've got to play better."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.