White's 10 Greatest Games

  • November 30, 2008 06:59 PM
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By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
November 30, 2008

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bill Stewart has called Patrick White the greatest winner in college football today. At the very least, he is the most productive quarterback in West Virginia University football history.

When White wraps up his career sometime next month, he will have led the Mountaineers to four straight bowl appearances, three straight Top 10 finishes and victories over Georgia in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, over Georgia Tech in the Toyota Gator Bowl and over Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Earlier this year, White broke the NCAA career rushing record for quarterbacks and he also established a Big East standard for touchdowns responsible for, eclipsing Donovan McNabb’s 10-year league record.

White ranks first in school history in total offense (9,959 yards), second in rushing (4,385 yards) and fourth in passing (5,574 yards). White makes his final appearance at Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday night against USF.

Here is a highly subjective look at White’s 10 greatest games in a Mountaineer uniform:

White's 10 Greatest West Virginia Games

10. Connecticut, 2007
White ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and completed 9 of 13 passes for 107 yards and a score to lead No. 3-rated West Virginia to a convincing 66-21 victory over No. 20-rated Connecticut in Morgantown to claim the Big East championship and set up a game against Pitt to reach the BCS title game against Ohio State. The Mountaineers rolled up 624 yards of offense and White and teammate Steve Slaton became just the third tandem in NCAA history to post consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

9. Louisville, 2008
White rushed for 200 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in West Virginia’s 35-21 victory at Louisville at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. During the game, White became both the NCAA career leader in quarterback rushing and the Big East career leader in touchdowns responsible for. White passed for 122 yards and touchdowns of 28 and 25 yards and he ran for TDs of 66, 43 and 7 yards. It was White’s school-record fourth career 200-yard rushing performance.

8. USF, 2005
White helped seal West Virginia’s first undefeated Big East season since 1993 with a 177-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance in leading the Mountaineers to a 28-13 victory at South Florida. White scored on touchdown runs of 65 and 76 yards. His second TD run was one of his prettiest, crossing the field and eluding USF tacklers near the goal line to get into the end zone. White also threw a touchdown pass to Darius Reynaud.

7. Louisville, 2007
Pat White produced 328 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns, but it was his scrambling, 50-yard touchdown run with 1:36 remaining in the game that won it for the Mountaineers after a late Cardinal comeback. White rushed 24 times for 147 yards and completed 16 of 25 passes for 181 yards and two scores in statistically one of the most well rounded performances of his career.

6. Syracuse, 2006
Syracuse coach Greg Robinson instructed his defense to sell out and stop running back Steve Slaton and he paid dearly for the strategy. White ran for a Big East-record 247 yards for quarterbacks and scored on touchdown runs of 69, 40, 32 and 12 yards in leading the Mountaineers to a 41-17 victory over the Orange. White’s record-setting 247 yards came on just 15 rushes to average 16.5 yards per carry. The Mountaineers rolled up 457 yards on the ground against the overmatched Orange defense.

5. Louisville, 2005
The college football world was introduced to Pat White with West Virginia trailing No. 19-rated Louisville 24-7 early in the fourth quarter in a game televised regionally on ABC. The freshman calmly led the Mountaineers to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and a field goal to send the game into overtime. The two teams traded a pair of TDs during the overtime period before White’s two-point conversion pass to Dorrell Jalloh provided the difference in the game. It was one of the greatest comeback victories in school history.

4. Georgia, 2006
After leading West Virginia to a surprising 28-0 second-quarter lead, White and his West Virginia teammates had to hang on for dear life in a 38-35 victory over Georgia in the 2006 Nokia Sugar Bowl in Atlanta that wasn’t settled until Phil Brady successfully converted a fake punt. White completed 11 of 20 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, but it was the 95-yard drive White led into the teeth of the Georgia defense that showed his true mettle. Twice White converted key third-down plays to set up Steve Slaton’s second 52-yard touchdown run of the game with 8:32 left.

3. Pitt, 2006
White tied a school record with 424 yards of total offense in leading West Virginia to a 45-27 come-from-behind victory over Pitt in the 99th edition of the Backyard Brawl at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. White completed 11 of 16 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns and he ran 22 times for 220 yards and touchdowns of 64 and 19 yards. White and teammate Steve Slaton (215 yards) became just the third duo in NCAA history to rush for more than 200 yards in the same game. The Mountaineers accumulated 641 yards of total offense against the Panther defense.

2. Oklahoma, 2008
Just three weeks after Rich Rodriguez left the team without a coach, White led West Virginia to a stunning 48-28 victory over No. 3-rated Oklahoma in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. White rushed 20 times for 150 yards and completed 10 of 19 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns to earn game MVP honors. It was the sixth time of White’s career that he accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense. After the game, White’s endorsement of Bill Stewart helped remove the interim tag from his title.

1. Georgia Tech, 2007
With Steve Slaton on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and West Virginia trailing 35-17 early in the third quarter, White hoisted the team on his shoulders and brought the Mountaineers back for an exciting 38-35 victory. White began the comeback with a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tito Gonzales. Another 14-yard scoring strike to Brandon Myles preceded White’s game-winning score – a 15-yard, scrambling touchdown run. On West Virginia’s final 10-play drive of the game to preserve the victory, the gutsy White carried the football eight times himself to run out the clock and give West Virginia its second straight New Year’s Day bowl victory. White ran 22 times for 145 yards and completed 9 of 15 passes for 131 yards to earn Gator Bowl MVP honors.

Be sure to vote for the game you believe is Pat's greatest and we will provide the results later this week.