White leads WVU over UConn, 35-13
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)—West Virginia’s Pat White passed several more milestones Saturday in rushing yards, passing yards, and touchdowns, but said moving to 3-0 in the Big East is the only record he cares about.
White ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to help West Virginia (6-2, 3-0) beat Connecticut 35-13 Saturday to remain in sole possession of first place in the conference.
“It means we got a ‘W,’ that’s all I’m worried about,” White said. “It’s our third game in Big East play, am I right? And we’ve got three more? four more? How many? We’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
For the record, it’s four more.
The Mountaineers (6-2, 3-0 Big East) won their fifth consecutive game, their first on the road, and snapped an 11-game home winning streak for UConn (6-3, 2-2).
White had 109 yards rushing on 21 carries, including touchdown runs of 24 and 36 yards, to move past the 4,000-yard mark for his career. He also completed 11 of 18 passes for 121 yards to go past 5,000 yards in the air. White has been responsible for 91 touchdowns in his career, just five behind Donavan McNabb, who had 96 when he played for Syracuse.
“He’s the greatest winner in college football today,” said coach Bill Stewart.
Connecticut’s Donald Brown, who came in as the nation’s leading rusher with more than 165 yards per game, had 77 yards in the first half, but finished with just 82, his lowest total of the season.
For the second consecutive week, the Mountaineers trailed early and dominated late. They scored the final 28 points, a week after scoring the last 31 points in a 34-17 win over Auburn.
“I guess it takes us a minute to adjust,” White said. “But at the same time, I think if we’re not executing, we’re not putting points on the board.”
West Virginia was trailing 13-7 before slotback Jock Sanders scored three touchdowns in the final 6:13 of the third quarter to help the Mountaineers take control of the game.
White began the rally by taking the Mountaineers 56 yards in six plays, hitting Sanders for a 6-yard touchdown that gave West Virginia a 14-13 lead. The drive came after UConn’s Kashif Moore dropped a ball that would have given UConn a 55-yard touchdown.
“It’s disappointing, but the fact of the matter is we were in the game to the very end,” said UConn quarterback Cody Endres, a redshirt freshman making his second start.
Endres completed 17 of 37 passes for 166 yards, but threw three interceptions, including one on an overthrow of D.J. Hernandez that Brandon Hogan returned 24 yards to the UConn 33. It took the Mountaineers just four plays to make it 21-13 on a 3-yard run by Sanders.
West Virginia was in the end zone again less than 3 minutes later after Chris Neild stripped UConn tailback Donald Brown of the ball and Scooter Berry picked it up, rumbling 18 yards to the UConn 21. Sanders scored again from 3 yards out four plays later. He had seven rushes for 45 yards, and caught three balls for 21.
“We knew the second half was ours,” Sanders said.
Noel Devine, who came in averaging over 121 yards rushing for West Virginia, was held to 60 yards on 17 carries, and had just 4 yards in the first half, which was controlled by UConn.
The Huskies took an early 7-0 lead when Brown stutter-stepped up the middle then broke several tackles on a 21-yard touchdown run with 4:18 left in the first quarter.
After a shanked punt by Pat McAfee, redshirt freshman David Teggart hit a 36-yard field goal to give the Huskies a 10-0 lead after a quarter.
A 44-yard kickoff return by Mark Rodgers set up the Mountaineers’ first touchdown drive, a 9-play, 54-yard march capped by a 24-yard scramble from White, who walked the final 3-yards into the end zone with 11:23 left in the first half.
Teggart hit a 38-yarder and the Huskies led 13-7 at the break.
West Virginia has won all five of its meetings with Connecticut.
“When you turn the ball over as many times as we did, five times, and drop passes offensively, there is not a big margin of error when you play West Virginia,” said UConn coach Randy Edsall.