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White, West Virginia run roughshod over Syracuse

Oct 14, 2006 - 7:26 PM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- After a first half that was a little too close for comfort, quarterback Pat White singlehandedly gave West Virginia some breathing room.

White rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries and the Mountaineers shut down Syracuse in the second half en route to a 41-17 Big East Conference victory.

White and Steve Slaton each rushed for a touchdown in the first half as West Virginia rolled up 230 yards on the ground but led only 17-14 at the break.

In the third quarter, White put on a show and the Orange could do nothing but watch as West Virginia (6-0, 1-0 Big East) pulled away to post its 13th consecutive victory.

White scored on runs of 40, 32 and 12 yards in the third quarter to give the Mountaineers a 38-14 lead and turn a tight game into a rout.

"The counter play worked really well," White said. "The hole was there and I was hitting it. They were keying on Steve and we have not run that play much, so it was something new for them and it worked."

White's dominating performance was the fourth-best rushing total in Mountaineer history and a Big East record for quarterbacks.

"We did a couple of new things offensively, particularly a couple quarterback runs," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We had a quarterback counter we ran and Pat scored on that same play three times."

Slaton added 163 yards on 20 rushes for West Virginia, which travels to Connecticut on Friday before a November 2 showdown with No. 7 Louisville that likely will have both Big East and national title implications.

Perry Patterson kept Syracuse (3-4, 0-2) in the game in the first half with a 47-yard TD pass midway through the first quarter that gave the Orange a 7-0 lead and a three-yard TD run with 2:58 left in the half that pulled the visitors within 17-14.

Patterson completed 9-of-21 passes for 146 yards. He started 5-of-7 for 92 yards and a TD before the Mountaineer defense clamped down.

"We just made a few adjustments at halftime," Rodriguez said. "I didn't really talk to the defense at all. I just mentioned that we gave up a couple big plays. We had them right where we wanted them on third down. We have just been unable to finish the drive off. I thought we did a better job of that in the second half."

West Virginia, which outgained Syracuse by 564-206, has won the last five games in the series.

"They have an explosive offense and an extremely good tailback," Syracuse coach Greg Robinson said. "I was very impressed with White. He is a fine athlete and a good leader."

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