Sure, the 6-foot, 190-pound Pat White -- currently a rookie all-purpose back with the Miami Dolphins in the NFL -- was the ultimate dual-threat college quarterback. A four-year bowl-game winner, White ended his career with 6,051 yards and 56 touchdowns passing to go with 4,480 yards and 47 touchdowns rushing. He recorded 34 wins as a starter.
Brown, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound fifth-year senior, has completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Brown also has run for 366 yards (4.2 average) and five scores, and he'll test No. 8 Pittsburgh (9-1) when it faces WVU (7-3) Friday at 7 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.
"They're both dangerous with the ball in their hand, and they can break contain,'' Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "So, we're doing the same drills that we did when we practiced for Pat White. Sure, Brown's bigger, but he can run, and he's also a threat to throw. That's the same as White.''
Pitt junior defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Greg Romeus have the unenviable task of trying to contain Brown as much as any Panthers.
"He still has the ability to scramble, just like Pat White,'' Sheard said. "But I think he has a lot more shake, and he has a strong arm. So, you have to do a good job containing him. I think his arm's definitely stronger, but I don't worry too much about that. I'm more concerned what he can do to me.
"And they're still running the spread offense. It might be a little different, but we're preparing the same way as before. We have to stop the option, and you have Noel Devine in the backfield. And if he gets outside, he could be gone. Brown, he's big and strong, so he's real fast and tough to bring down.''
Pitt redshirt sophomore Myles Caragein believed the defensive tackles were just as important.
"There's a little difference between Brown and Pat White, but our game plan is no different, really,'' Caragein said. "He's a dual-threat quarterback, and he can throw the ball on the money. So, he's pretty accurate.
"But he also can run the ball and go for a touchdown. So, we have to contain him as much as possible. He looks like he's tough to bring down, because he's so big and strong, but he's also pretty fast. So, he's a tough matchup.
"Their offense is looking for one little crease, so Noel Devine can split through there,'' Caragein added. "And if he's not on a safety, he could go all the way. So, we have to play sound defense, gap-control, and eliminate the creases.''
Wannstedt noted that while the Mountaineers still utilize the basic spread offense they are more conventional the past couple years.
"They are going to maybe jump into the I-formation and run the power and give you some play pass,'' Wannstedt said. "Then they are going to jump into their quarterback spread, their read-option, and run their Pat White-type of offense. A year ago Pat White was carrying the ball about 50 percent of the time. Their running backs carried it obviously, the other 50 percent of the time.
"This year it's changed. Jarrett Brown, he's keeping the ball on the option, but the numbers aren't as high with him running the ball as they were with Pat White. Early on they came out and threw the ball. He's had a couple 250-300 yard games. So I think they've moved a little bit towards the more conventional offense, similar to what we do, and drifted a little bit away from the spread, quarterback-read game, even though that's a major part of what they do.''
Pitt fifth-year senior defensive tackle Gus Mustakas believed that in the end it's all the same for the Panthers.
"They do their read stuff, but they've gotten away from that a little bit by running a regular offense, too,'' Mustakas said. "So, it's a little bit tricky, and we have to practice for both. The key is to stop their quarterback and running back, and it's definitely up to our front seven to contain those guys.
"They've faced some pretty good defenses, but I think our defense probably will be one of the top defenses that they've faced all year. I'm sure they're looking forward to the challenge, and I know that we're certainly looking forward to going against their offense. It should be a good matchup.''
Pitt sixth-year senior middle linebacker Adam Gunn can't wait to get a shot at Brown and Devine.
"Devine, I would say he's very similar to LaRod Stephens-Howling,'' Gunn said. "He's small, but very fast, so you can't let him get outside. We've worked on that, keeping those speedster guys like Devine from getting on the perimeter. We want to limit him as much as possible in this game.
"Jarrett Brown, I believe he can pass a lot better than they have in the past, so it's going to be a challenge for us. But we've played a lot of great quarterbacks, so we'll be ready for him. They also have a lot of team speed, but that's always the case with West Virginia. They recruit a lot of fast guys.
"The key for us is that we're just as fast now,'' Gunn added. "That wasn't the case, back when I first came here, but we can match speed for speed on offense and defense. And that's a big reason why we've been successful the past couple years. Our defense runs just as well as they do on offense.''
And no matter if it's White or Brown, Devine or Steve Slaton, it just comes down to blocking and tackling.
The Jarrett Brown-Pat White Debate
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