Never Before

It had never happened to West Virginia quarterback Patrick White before. And it made him angrier than anyone has ever seen during a Mountaineer football game.

"It" was one of the more despicable acts that one person can inflict on another without physical contact, and it happened, according to White, during the first half of WVU's 38-31 win over Louisville. On a play which was originally ruled a fumble by Steve Slaton, White removed his helmet as he came off the field, and quite angrily gestured toward the Louisville sideline. He had to be restrained by teammates, and continued to yell at the Cardinals even after the call was correctly overturned. Even though the cause wasn't apparent at the time, it was clear that something ugly had transpired around the play, because White is typically the most unflappable of competitors.

That's when somebody spit in my face," White said matter-of-factly after the game. When asked if none of the officials caught it, he replied, "No, but I did. I caught it right in the face."

White was quick to point out that the incident wasn't a reflection on the Cardinal team as a whole.

"That's not saying anything about their team, because they are very classy. I enjoy being out on the field with them and having fun. But that one incident didn't set too well with me at all. Never in my life has anyone spit in my face."

White was obviously still bothered by the incident, which goes beyond the typical limb-twisting and punching that routinely occurs in pileups. When asked to identify the culprit, his disdain for the alleged perpetrator was apparent.

"Six," he said with his usual brevity of speech. "I don't know his name, and I don't care to know his name, but I would like to see him again. Honestly."

That number belongs to Louisville linebacker Preston Smith, who was unavailable for comment by the time White made the allegation. Neither were Louisville coaches, who had completed their interviews as well. No video of the incident was available, so it should be clearly understood that White's statements are an allegation at this point.

Although no penalties were assessed on the play, it may have contributed to White's performance as the game wore on.

"I guess it added a little gas to the fire," White said. "It made me upset."

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