Key Moment: West Virginia - Pitt

It was a familiar scenario. A Thursday night national television audience was watching the Mountaineers struggle to defend a powerful passing attack on the road.

With the top ten team trailing at halftime, the home crowd was beginning to smell an upset, and a statement game for their program. Someone needed to make a play for West Virginia. Two weeks ago, the Mountaineers were faced with a similar situation. On that night, nobody stepped up to make a play. On Thursday night, someone did.

Quarterback Patrick White put together a career highlight reel against the Panthers, but no other play was as big for his team as White's 64 yard touchdown jaunt to open the second half.

The Mountaineers, trailing 27-24, had just picked up a first down to start the second half courtesy of a 10 yard run by Steve Slaton. Facing a first and ten from their own 36, West Virginia ran its bread and butter play: the read option. White took the snap, read the defensive end, faked to Owen Schmitt, and then darted to the outside where the Panther defenders had their choice to either take away White, or swarm Slaton. In reality, they did neither, and 64 yards later the Daphne, Ala. native had given West Virginia the lead for good on his longest touchdown run of the night.

Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt, who last year infamously stated that his Panthers just had to "run faster" came away shaking his head as White and West Virginia racked up 641 yards of total offense, including 437 on the ground.

"We came out and we were going to be aggressive on defense and try to take away the run," said Wannstedt. "I felt like early on we were doing that."

In the second half, though, West Virginia's rushing offense was as red-hot as it has been all season. Leading the way was White, who tied his ground output from last year's game with 220 yards.

"I said earlier in the week that Pat White is the fastest quarterback in the country," said Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades, "and if you give him a crease in the open space he's going to beat you."

The duo of Slaton and White beat the Panthers yet again. No matter how fast Wannstedt's team runs, on this night they still weren't fast enough.

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