November 26, 2006

Waiting, watching of no help to Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN--There has been a tendency to wait and watch for Pat White and Steve Slaton to do something all year.

It seems like no matter what could go wrong--like in the Nov. 16 game against Pitt-White and Slaton would make it all better.

Both exploded in the second half of the 45-27 victory over the Panthers to become just the third set of teammates in NCAA history to each rush for over 200 yards in a single game.

But what was 435 yards on the Heinz Field turf turned into mush (60 total) on a warm afternoon Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Slaton carried 18 times for 43 yards and White carried 15 times for 17 yards. Both were career lows.

Without them and with only slot receiver Darius Reynaud making 67 yards on two reverse carries, WVU had no plan B. The result was a 24-19 upset before 52,790.

"That's what we were waiting for," reiterated WVU safety Eric Wicks in the Mountaineers' (9-2 overall, 4-2 Big East) interview room. "But South Florida's defense did a good job, too."

Yes, apparently the Bulls (8-4, 4-3) know something about stopping Slaton. Last year, USF held the Mountaineer runner to 87 yards at Raymond E. James Stadium.

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