Our picks for players of the game after West Virginia's 41-17 win over Big East rival Syracuse.
Offensively, the choice was clear. Quarterback Patrick White had a career day with 247 yards rushing and four touchdowns (both career highs.) White tied the game at seven with his 69 yard jaunt in the first quarter, and added touchdown runs of 40, 32, and 12 yards over the rest of the game.
The sophomore from Daphne, Ala. looks to have shaken off any ill effects of a pulled side muscle suffered in fall camp. Though West Virginia did not need to throw, White was efficient in that department as well. He finished the game with 99 yards through the air on 12 completions (19 attempts.)
On defense, senior linebacker Jay Henry gets the nod as player of the game. The Jenks, Okla. native finished with four tackles, including a first half sack of Syracuse quarterback Perry Patterson which resulted in a loss of seven yards. Henry and the defense struggled through the first half, but made the necessary halftime adjustments to quell any Orange hopes of an upset.
Henry was also selected as one of West Virginia's game captains for Saturday afternoon, along with long snapper Tim Lindsey, linebacker Phil Plank, and running back Jason Colson.
The first game ball today goes to Mountaineer kicker Pat McAfee. The sophomore from Plum, Pa. was perfect on his two field goal attempt, both coming from 32 yards away. McAfee was also very effective on kickoffs, as three of his eight kickoffs went for touchbacks. McAfee executed a beautiful pooch kick which was nearly recovered by his Mountaineer teammates. To cap it all off, he had a tackle for the second week in a row after running down Syracuse kick returner Curtis Brinkley in the open field.
The second game ball for this week goes to John Holmes. The sophomore spur safety from Rockledge, Fla. was all over the field on Saturday afternoon. Holmes finished with three tackles, and a pass break-up on the day.
The third game ball goes to junior receiver Darius Reynaud, who showed that he is becoming more than just a big play receiver. Reynaud set a career high with seven receptions, finishing with 55 yards receiving on the afternoon. He also picked up 74 yards on three kickoff returns, an average of nearly 25 yards per return.