You can count West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett in with the growing number of folks out there who are believing that Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the nation this season. The senior was meeting with members of the Media on Tuesday and this is how he responded when asked directly about the Sooners.
"They are exactly what we think they are," Trickett said. "They are a great team and have a high power offense. They have a great defense as well and are returning a lot of guys. They are a traditional powerhouse. They are Oklahoma, but I said the same thing with Alabama. There is no such thing as an unbeatable team. We just have to find whatever weaknesses they have, if there are any, and try to exploit them."
You have to appreciate both his honesty and his enthusiasm for playing Oklahoma just four weeks after opening the season against Alabama.
"That's what we signed up for," Trickett added. "We are in the Big 12, and we are just now starting Big 12 play. We like it that way though. I think people understand that we are not playing scrubs. The one FCS team we did play just happened to play in the national championship last year, so we are playing tough teams and still executing at a high level. We have to do the same this week."
Mountaineers Head Coach Dana Holgorsen wasn't disagreeing with his quarterback at all in assessing Oklahoma. "Being able to host the number four team in the country - I don't know if it gets any better than that," Holgorsen said in his opening statement to the media.
Of course everyone remembers the shootout that took place in 2012 when these two teams took the field in Morgantown. Oklahoma won that night by a final score of 50-49 and while many of the faces are different two years later, Holgorsen still says that the Sooners' offense still is all about the signal caller and he sees Trevor Knight as a different guy than who he faced last season.
"Offensively, it starts with their quarterback," he said. "Trevor Knight is playing great. He's a completely different guy than what he was game two a year ago. He's throwing the ball better. They've played him a lot in the first three games, even though they've had all three of these games in hand easily in the second half. They've played him a bunch, and you can tell that he's making a ton of strides to get better."
When pressed more specifically about where Knight ranks among the quarterbacks the Mountaineers have faced this season, Holgorsen wasn't shy about his feelings.
"He's more dynamic. He's got more twitch. His ceiling is a lot higher. He's a sophomore. Those other guys are seniors - fifth-year seniors, sixth-year seniors, and seventh-year seniors, whatever it is. He's just getting started. He's got a lot football ahead of him. He's a big time talent who is young and will continue to get better, but he's a little bit more dynamic with twitch and athleticism." - Dana Holgorsen in comparing Trevor Knight to the other quarterbacks he's faced this season
Having already faced Alabama in the season opener, Holgorsen gave his opinion on comparing the two defenses (see the quote to the right) but he wasn't as strong with is as we was earlier in the week. There's no doubt that the Mountaineers are looking at this game as a bit of a chance for redemption after coming up short against Alabama, and they're hoping that a night game in front of their home fans is the advantage that puts them over the top.
"It is going to be insane," junior linebacker Isaiah Bruce said. "A night game in Morgantown is just insane, and going against Oklahoma has been extremely close games the last couple of years. We understand how big this game is with it being the first Big 12 game of the year, so we have to come out and give it all we have."