Royal Review: USF

The Duke wraps up the regular season with notes and views from a snowy Mountaineer Field.

10. In final regular-season game of the year, the West Virginia Mountaineers held on at the end, snuffing out a South Florida last-second drive to defeat the Bulls 13-7. The win ended a two-game losing streak to USF. The game was called a "White Out," but the snow and the cold temperatures made the game a total "White Out."

9. It is hard to believe we saw Pat White play for the last time at Mountaineer Field. His competitiveness, intelligence, leadership and charisma have led West Virginia to a great four years. While West Virginia is in capable hands next year with Jarrett Brown at quarterback, it just will not be the same without Patrick lining up under center.

8. Looking at West Virginia's defensive statistics, out of the top 13 tacklers 12 will be back next year. Mortty Ivy was the only senior in the top 13. Brandon Hogan and Pat Lazear led the Mountaineers with nine tackles apiece against the Bulls. Hogan continues to be very impressive with his coverage and open field tackling. Lazear who has not seen a great deal of action this year, split time with Najee Goode against Pitt and played much of the contest against the Bulls, and he responded with a nice game.

7. White continued to impress me as a passer when he gets enough time. White's 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Urban was across the field and right over Urban's shoulder. Later in the third quarter he zipped a ball between three defenders to Tito Gonzales for a 22-yard completion.

6. I'm definitely in the older generation. It is beyond me how the West Virginia students survived the cold temperatures. I saw many students wearing only a hoodie sweatshirt with a white t-shirt over top for the "White Out." I met one student who was wearing shorts.

5. West Virginia nearly had a Buddy Ryan/Kevin Gilbride episode on the sidelines when things got a little heated after a mixup. West Virginia had some miscommunication resulting in delays on offense, as well as a 12-men on the field flag, and everyone's emotions got the best of them. Watching a couple of players on the sidelines, I believe they enjoyed watching the coaches getting into someone else's grille.

4. A buddy recently asked me who I thought were the five greatest football Mountaineers of all time, with the question being raised in light of White's last home game. I qualified my response: (1) I can only go by those I saw play and, (2) I wasn't taking their NFL production into the equation. So starting chronologically from 1982, I'd say, Darryl Talley, Major Harris, Aaron Beasley, Steve Slaton and Patrick White. I tried to fit Jeff Hostetler, Willie Drewrey, Marc Bulger, Amos Zereoue, Mike Logan and Avon Cobourne into this group, but the first five just had more impact on the game in my eyes, and they seemed to dominate to a greater degree.

3. West Virginia did a great job thanking White in the first quarter with the highlight video of his career with memorable runs and passes. A second video clip was played in the second quarter where each senior was highlighted, and a few of the players thanked the fans for their time at West Virginia.

2. And on that note, congratulations to all the graduating players. It seems just like yesterday we were following guys like Mike Dent, Tito Gonzales, John Bradshaw, Pat Liebig, Jake Figner, Pat McAfee, Mortty Ivy, John Holmes, Sammy Morrone, Dorrell Jalloh, Doug Slavonic, Ryan Stanchek and Pat White on the Scout.com recruiting services and hoping that these verbal commitment would turn in the February signings. These fellows really deserve a pat on the back as they persevered for four or five years. Things don't always go your way on this level, yet they had the discipline to stay the course and now will be Mountaineers forever. That's something very special.

1. To all - Merry Christmas and we'll see you at the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.


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