An updated version of the artistry previously known as: Two teams that really don't like each other
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- As part of the friendly rivals' fire that resurfaced in pregame warmups and lasted into the aftermath of this 35-21 West Virginia victory Saturday, Mountaineers quarterback Patrick White -- who jawed at, looked back at and taunted (while running down the sidelines for touchdowns) and pancake-blocked most any Cardinals in his proximity -- had some not-so-nice words about one Louisville player in particular.
On a Noel Devine cutback run, White took a moment from his NCAA record-setting rushing day to block 6-foot-3, 285-pound Cardinals defensive tackle Earl Heyman and topple him to the stadium turf. Heyman took umbrage, grabbing White and rolling him over in what became a two-man somersault. They arose to jaw and posture at one another.
Said White afterward: "He tried to break my neck. No need for ignorant, dirty play."
Then White, still miffed that linebacker Preston Smith denied this incident happened in the teams' meeting last November, added this little nugget: "At least I didn't get spit on."
White admitted that after the last of his three touchdown jaunts he began snapping his fingers in the end zone, showing everyone that his 200-yard day was a "walk in the park." As for establishing the new NCAA Division I-A standard for rushing yards in a quarterback career, the senior shrugged and added that the record will mean something to him "maybe one day when I'm old and in my rocking chair with my grandkids." One last White tidbit: He finished with 1,115 career yards rushing/passing plus a 3-1 record vs. Louisville.
More post-game doodads: Coach Bill Stewart: "I was so frustrated at half. Had 215 yards rushing, two blown opportunities [inside the Louisville 11-yard line]. I wanted to cry, I really did. But I can’t do that." . . . Offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen joked of White’s record-breaking, 4-yard run, which was two yards shy of a first down: "That’s the only time he slid all year, the knucklehead." . . . Mullen on West Virginia rushing for a season-high 376 yards against major-college football's heretofore eighth-stingiest rushing defense, all behind an offensive line with Seneca Valley's Don Barclay, in his first start, subbing for Greg Isdaner (head, though he played one series) and Eric Jobe, in his second start, subbing for Mike Dent (neck): "You kidding me? And you replace two all-Big East, All-American candidate guys. We didn't replace a couple of stiffs. That's crazy talk." . . . West Virginia allowed a third-quarter touchdown for only the second time all fall, ending a string of four consecutive games and six of seven without a third- or fourth-quarter score. . . Stewart pooh-poohed the pregame-warmup fracas between the teams, saying his Mountaineers didn't breach protocol by standing on Louisville's midfield Cardinal logo. A few wild punches were thrown, but coaches and game officials separated the two sides.