WVU 35-'Ville 21: Pat White's Big Day

Frank AhrensSenior Writer INovember 22, 2008

More than anyone else on this 7-3 team, I have felt sorry for Pat White.

This is not the way his senior season should have gone.

He has, as ESPN Big East blogger Brian Bennett correctly said this week, been pulled in many different directions this year. Be a passer, Pat. Don’t run as much, Pat. Okay, now run a bunch again, Pat. You don’t have to win games, Pat. Can you please win games, Pat?

Combine that with the failure of Coach Stewart’s plan to keep White from getting injured, and White’s numbers are down this year compared to previous years.

He has had good games, and flashes in others, but it was gratifying to see him have a do-it-all dominating game like he did today, running for three touchdowns (including two long ones) and throwing for two more, including a strike to Dorrell Jalloh (that man again!) and a nice touch pass to Jock Sanders.

In the process, he set two career records: Most rushing yards by a D-1 quarterback with 4,292, passing Mizzou’s Brad Smith, and most Big East touchdowns accounted for, at 98, passing Syracuse’s Donovan McNabb.

White finished with 200 yards on 21 carries and another 122 yards through the air on a  6-for-11 performance.

Despite the solid win, WVU still can’t make short yardage on offense. WVU wasted two big plays -- a long pass to Alric Arnett and a long run by Noel Devine -- by being unable to score a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line and by missing a field goal.

Ten games into the season, being unable to find an answer to this is just unforgivable. Where has Will Johnson disappeared to? We know Max Anderson is kicked off the team because of a bar fight, but what about Sam Morrone? Tyler Rader? Ricky Kovach? Why does WVU list six tight ends on the roster and only two fullbacks?

On defense, Brandon Hogan continues to impress. I recall at least one key third-down pass he prevented from becoming a first down by chasing down a receiver crossing the middle after he caught the pass. And he delivered a few memorable hits.

Now, WVU needs to keep winning and get some help to make another run at the Big East title and a BCS bowl, which would be White's third.