I know I have been surprisingly quiet as my West Virginia Mountaineers reeled off a three-game win streak. The reason, of course, is because they looked terrible doing it. Some of the cause was an injury to two-time Big East player of the year Patrick White.
Last night they played a team from the SEC. The mere mention of those three letters gives most coaches nightmares. Thankfully, Bill Stewart is not most coaches.
Stewart knows the SEC are bullies, and the way to battle a bully is to stand and fight.
When confronted with a team which will fight, the powers of the SEC use their much talked about speed to run around their opponent. This is why West Virginia has feasted on SEC teams the last few years.
No one outruns the West Virginia Mountaineers!
The Blue and Gold are a track team in helmets. Patrick White is a lightning bolt. Noel Devine is a 180-pound hummingbird. The receivers are pure speed.
Last night, play after play the Auburn defense thought they had Noel Devine—they thought wrong. The young running back carried 17 times for 207 yards and one touchdown.
When Devine didn't have the ball, Pat White did. White's foot speed is a legend in Morgantown, but his arm is underrated, and last night he showed it. After throwing only his second and third interceptions of the year, Patrick picked apart the Tiger secondary.
The threat of him running makes defenses pause, and that's all the advantage the Alabama-born quarterback needed to surgically show the football world that the Mountaineers are ready to defend their Big East title.
On Oct. 23, 2008, on a brisk Thursday night in Morgantown, the Mountaineers beat the Auburn Tigers, but they served notice to the Pitt Panthers and South Florida Bulls.
Patrick White, Noel Devine, and a maturing young team let the powers of the their conference know that until proven otherwise, the Big East trophy still sings, "Country roads, take me home to the place I belong, West Virginia..."