Key Moment - UConn

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Patrick White ran left for a 45-yard touchdown. Connecticut continued to focus on stopping Steve Slaton. So White ran it again. And again and again and again, all the while driving thoughts of an upset from UConn and West Virginia to its likely undefeated showdown with No. 7 Louisville.

With the Huskies (3-4, 0-2 Big East) keying on Slaton, White rushed 45 yards for a touchdown on the first play of West Virginia's fourth possession, turning a 6-3 game into a two possession lead at 13-3. The quarterback then simply took over the game with the help of the offensive line, carrying the ball six times on West Virginia's 11-play drive on its next series to total 54 of the 74-yard drive on the ground. He also added passes of 10 and 11 yards, meaning just one play of the push was not connected to White: Fullback Owen Schmitt's one-yard scoring plunge with 20 seconds left in the first half to give No. 5 West Virginia (7-0, 2-0) an insurmountable 20-3 lead by the break that ended in a 37-11 win.

"They had a good defensive scheme early," White said. "They were calling out some of my plays at the line when I was giving signals, so they scouted well. We could not get it going, and finally did toward the end of the first half. It was momentum shift for us."

White's dominance on the drives showed a national audience what most college football pundits already knew: West Virginia's quarterback, as well as its tailback, can take over games at anytime with ruthless efficiency and speed. The two drives essentially sealed the game for the Mountaineers, who have proven that they will use all of White's talents to beat defenses.

The 45-yard touchdown was an all-out sprint, the line having parted the Connecticut defense for White to run a blue streak by the similarly-colored Huskies. He turned on the speed, kicking into an extra gear that no other NCAA quarterback can match and outrunning UConn to the outside. The other drive was a mix of run and pass, which might back opposing offenses off the run and create more room for Slaton and receiver screens in the final five regular season games.

White hit out passes. He hit downfield passes. And he ran, the first two times for gains of five, then the 30-yarder in which he wiggled past defenders and used his rare mix of speed and stylized running to setup the final roundhouse punch the put the Huskies down. White finished his part of the drive with runs of five, seven and two yards to push the ball to the Connecticut three-foot line.

In all, he ran for 102 yards on 15 carries (6.7 yards per carry) and completed nine of 14 passes for one touchdown and one meaningless interception at the end of the game.

"A quarterback who has the ability to run and also can throw is very difficult for a defense," Connecticut head coach Randy Edsell said. "He will probably be a Heisman candidate, maybe this year and the next two years. Hopefully he will come out so we won't have to see him in the final year."


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