MORGANTOWN - Halfway through the 2013 season and West Virginia University's football team still has questions at quarterback.
"Ford (Childress) can't throw," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. "We have one healthy quarterback and one sort of healthy one. We will see by the end of the week.
"We are going to rep the ones that are healthy, and see what we can do on Friday. Clint (Trickett) threw some today, and took some reps. The main thing is how he is feeling on Thursday and Friday."
Should Trickett, who completed 24-of-50 attempts for 309 yards and one touchdown in WVU's 30-21 upset of then-No. 11 Oklahoma State, not be able to go then the job would be junior Paul Millard's.
The Texas-native led the Mountaineers to a come-from-behind (24-17) victory over William & Mary in the team's season-opener, but showed little ability to move the offense in a 16-7 loss at Oklahoma the next week opening the door for Childress.
Like Millard, Childress experienced highs and lows in his two starts, throwing for a trio of touchdowns in a blowout win over FBS newcomer Georgia State before showing his inexperience in a 37-0 shutout at border state rival Maryland.
A game where the freshman suffered a torn pectoral muscle that forced him out of last week's contest against the visiting Cowboys and opened the door for Trickett, who graduated early from Florida State University and then elected to finish his final two seasons of football at WVU.
"With the nature of what the injury is, it is up to the player (Trickett)," Dawson continued. "I am not a trainer, though. I practice with who they tell me is not in a red shirt. If they are not in a red shirt, they can practice. I don't know the nature of anyone's injury. All I know is that if they are out there, they are going to practice."
Whoever the starter is at quarterback, he, and the rest of the Mountaineer offense, will face a Baylor defense that leads the Big 12 in both points allowed (7.7 ppg) and total defense (297.0 ypg).
"Defensively, they've shown a whole lot of improvement," head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It is about the same guys that we faced when they were here last year. They haven't changed a whole lot.
"Their personnel has not changed much. Any time you bring back seven starters like Oklahoma State did last week on defense, they were tough. Baylor's defense is similar. They have seven or eight starters, who have taken a bunch of snaps.
"Coach (Phil) Bennett has been there for a while and has been speaking the same language to these guys. They created nine turnovers, and they've scored five or six times on defense. When I'm watching the tape I think, 'Geeze, there's another touchdown for their defense'."
A strong running game, however, could slow down the Bears' defense and keep their high-powered offense, which is averaging nearly 70 points and 700 yards per game, on the sidelines.
"When we played Baylor last year, you were looking at two experienced offenses that really pushed the envelope on tempo," Holgorsen continued. "We haven't been doing that as much, but we did it last week. We were more comfortable with it last week.
"They will do it all of the time. Last week, there were a lot of changing of possessions and that will be the case this week. The more possessions you have the more plays you make and the more plays you make the more opportunities you have to score. High-scoring is in their nature."
Whoever is at signal-caller, he most likely will be handing the ball off to senior Charles Sims, junior Dreamius Smith or freshman Wendall Smallwood.
Sims has accounted for 388 yards and three touchdowns on 78 carries and has 17 catches for 163 yards. Smith is close behind with 236 yards and two scores on 49 touches while Smallwood rounds out the trio with 140 yards and one six-pointer on only 19 carries.
The receiving corps is led by freshman Daikiel Shorts' 17 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Ronald Carswell chips in with 14 catches for 272 yards and one score and Kevin White has 10 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
But will those be enough weapons against a Baylor defense that is the best in the Big 12.
"We've talked about it (last year's game), and looked at it and we realize we're not that defense anymore," Baylor nickleback Sam Holl said. "We saw mistakes and wonder how we did that. We have to make sure we don't make the same mistakes this year. We have to tackle better, cover better and play smart."
The unit also realizes it is not facing a Mountaineer team featuring record-setting quarterback Geno Smith, or NFL draft selections Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey at receiver.
"If you look at the two losses they've had (this season), they're against Oklahoma and Maryland on the road," Baylor head coach Art Briles said. "West Virginia does a great job with home crowds and the environment and do a great job of protecting their house. The bottom line is we didn't get out of there with a win, and we played extremely hard."
The Bears hope to win their fourth straight home game after dominating the first three by a combined score of 209-23. They scored 70 points and racked up a school-record 781 yards in both of their last two wins over Buffalo and UL Monroe.