Florida State’s Trickett set to start vs. Clemson

Clint Trickett will possibly make his first start for

11th-ranked Florida State on Saturday while star quarterback EJ

Manuel nurses an injured shoulder.

A redshirt freshman, Trickett took all the practice snaps this

week as the Seminoles (2-1) prepare for their Atlantic Coast

Conference opener and first road test of the season against No. 21

Clemson.

He would be making his inaugural collegiate start in a

less-than-friendly atmosphere at Clemson’s so-called ”Death

Valley” stadium where Florida State hasn’t won in a decade. The

deafening 81,000-seat venue is sold out for Saturday’s game to make

it even more difficult for Trickett and the Seminole offense to

hear.

”It will be loud,” Trickett said during a midweek sit down

with media that cover the team. ”I’ve heard they get louder for

Florida State so I’m excited for it.”

Trickett, who is not the most mobile of quarterbacks, figures

Clemson will be after him from the start – especially since

Oklahoma sacked him five times in a little more than a quarter

after Manuel’s injury in last week’s 23-13 loss to the top-ranked

Sooners.

”They blitzed every play,” said the 20-year-old Trickett, who

expects to see a lot of blitzing by Clemson (3-0) too.

”If I was a defensive coordinator and there was a freshman

quarterback in there, I’d do it too,” said Trickett, the

soft-spoken youngest son of Seminoles’ offensive line coach Rick

Trickett. ”I’ve got to be ready for it.”

Trickett has played in all three Florida State games this

season, completing 14 of 23 passes for 310 yards. His only

interception came on a tipped pass against Oklahoma while all four

of his touchdown passes have gone to freshman Rashad Greene.

Greene ”makes the big plays all the time,” Trickett said.

”Makes me look good.”

The last time Trickett set foot on Clemson’s campus was his

sophomore season in high school. He visited the school when Tommy

Bowden was still coaching Clemson.

Trickett returns a bit bigger than four years ago, generously

listed at 6-2 and 180 pounds in Florida State’s media guide. And

while the height part appears close, Trickett’s slight physique

belies the poundage claim. A bit small compared to the 6-5,

240-pound Manuel.

But if he gets the job done against the unbeaten Tigers,

Trickett will join several former backup quarterbacks who

successfully pinch-hit for an injured Seminole starter.

Marcus Outzen is remembered for helping the Seminoles get to the

1998 national championship game when he led to Seminoles to

victories over Wake Forest and Florida after stepping in for Chris

Weinke, who was out with a season-ending neck injury.

Danny Kanell did the same for the 1993 national championship

team with a five-touchdown passing performance at Maryland where he

filled in for Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward, who sat out the

game with bruised ribs. Kanell, of course, went on to stardom in

his own right the following two seasons.

And Manuel too, who was 4-2 as a starter in place of oft-injured

Christian Ponder.

And there were several others, including some who eventually

became starters later in their careers.

Dating back to 1985, Florida State has won 15 of 16 games with a

quarterback making his first start. Trickett is shooting to make it

16 of 17.

”I just try and make sure they know that I’m not rattled so

they can have more confidence in me,” Trickett said. ”You can’t

let the moment get the best of you. You’ve got to handle it.”

And his coaches and teammates are confident he will.

”There may be things he (Trickett) does differently than EJ in

terms of what he likes and doesn’t like,” Fisher said. ”But he

knows all of what’s going on.”