Key Moment - Syracuse

Syracuse keyed on Steve Slaton. Patrick White feasted on Syracuse.

With No. 4 West Virginia's Big East opener still in doubt, White used the first three possessions of the second half as a punishing exhibition, thrice racing through an over-pursuing Orange defense for scores of 40, 32 and 12 yards. That added to his 69-yard run to cap the first WVU series, the eighth time in as many games that West Virginia (5-0, 1-0 Big East) has scored a touchdown on its first possession.

When he was finished, he had 230 of his career-high 247 yards and WVU held a 38-14 lead with 15 inconsequential minutes left in a game that was a three-point affair at the half. And the sophomore left a lasting thought: Teams that focus on slowing Slaton will be beaten in other ways.

"They were worried about Schmitty and Slaton," White said of fullback Owen Schmitt and Slaton. "That (counter play) worked real well. The hole was there and I was hitting it. We have not run that play much, so it was something new for them and it worked. I was making the right reads and the lane was there and I hit it. I did not know I had that many yards, but it feels good."

White also completed 12 of 19 passes for 99 yards, but it was his scoring on three straight possessions that was most impressive. The latter score came when, on first and 10 from the 12, Dan Mozes' snap nearly sailed over his head. He gathered it in with his throwing hand, considered still handing the Slaton, then bounced the play outside before cutting up the middle, breaking a tackle and rolling into the end zone. It showed all White's talents: elusiveness, escapablity, speed, quickness, agility and a splash of power.

That carry, giving him 230 yards on 13 carries (17.7 yards per carry) also set a new school and Big East quarterback rushing record for yardage in a game. White, one might suppose, was simply competing with himself, considering it was his own mark that was snapped, the one he set last season at home against Pitt, when he ran for 220 yards in a 45-13 win. He had never scored any more than two touchdowns in any previous game.

"You have to understand that a lot of the runs off that that Pat makes are just reads," Mozes said. "I am sure we contribute part of it, but that's Pat being a great athlete. We knew how they were going to come out against us and what they would do because it worked last year. We tried to counteract that."

They did, four-plus different times in all, in the 41-17 win on homecoming on leading West Virginia to a 457-yard rushing performance over Syracuse (3-4, 0-2) in a game in which it had more than 400 yards with 13 minutes left in the game.


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