Freshman QB Slaton scores 6 TDs for Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Steve Slaton just scored his sixth touchdown and backup quarterback Pat White converted a two-point pass in the third overtime. Now, West Virginia's defense needed to stop No. 19 Louisville one last time.

It did -- eventually.

Michael Bush scored his fourth TD, but WVU's Eric Wicks tackled Cardinals quarterback Brian Brohm at the 3 on the two-point try and the Mountaineers had themselves a 46-44 victory Saturday.

"I just had to stop him," Wicks said. "I guess he had no options, so he tried scrambling. I was surprised that he actually tried to pull it down and run."

Slaton, who set a school record with his TD splurge, gave West Virginia (6-1, 3-0 Big East) a 44-38 lead with a short TD run in the third OT. White, who replaced injured Adam Bednarik in the fourth quarter, then found Dorrell Jalloh with a two-point conversion pass for a 46-38 lead.

After Wicks stopped Brohm's attempt to force a fourth OT, thousands of Mountaineer fans ran onto the field in a celebration.

NCAA rules require teams to go for a two-point conversion following touchdowns starting with the third overtime.

"It was supposed to be a pass play," said Brohm, who completed 31-of-49 passes for 277 yards, two TDs and an interception. "They covered it pretty well, so I took off with it. They came off the ball and stopped me. I have three options there. We were trying to
get someone in the back of the end zone. I tried to run it myself when that did not work. I didn't get in."

Slaton, who ran for five scores and caught a TD pass, broke the school mark of five TDs shared by three players.

"This is the first time ever in my life that I've scored six touchdowns," the freshman running back said. "And I didn't realize it until afterward."

With fellow freshman Jason Gwaltney out for a month with a knee injury, West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez abandoned his rotation of four running backs and gave most of the work to Slaton, who finished with 188 yards on 31 carries.

"I don't know what happened. We had guys in position sometimes and we just couldn't tackle him," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said.

Bush and Brohm staked Louisville (4-2, 0-2) to a 24-7 third-quarter lead, and it seemed the Cardinals finally got the solid effort they had shown in three blowout wins at home but lacked on the road.

But Louisville's defense, which had limited West Virginia to just 56 total yards in the first half, fell apart.

West Virginia scored the final six times it had the ball.

"I never thought that could happen," said Louisville's Elvis Dumervil, the nation's sack leader who was limited to five tackles and a half-sack against the Mountaineers.

WVU put together three scoring drives in a seven-minute span, including Slaton's 1-yard TD run with a minute left in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 24.

"The second half he came out and the crowd got into it and he got a lot of energy," Dumervil said. "Momentum swung their way because that guy was making big plays."

He was far from done.

Slaton scored on runs of 2, 23 and 1 yards in the extra periods.

It was the biggest comeback win for West Virginia since rallying from a 19-point deficit to beat Maryland in 1992.

The 90 points scored were a stadium record, topping the 87 scored in 2001 in a game with Rutgers.

Bush became the first running back to surpass 100 yards against the Mountaineers this season, finishing with 37 carries for 159 yards.

The loss kept Louisville winless in the league and dealt a huge blow to the Cardinals' hopes for their first BCS bid.

"All we can do now is play for pride," said Louisville wide receiver Joshua Tinch, who had a career-high 13 catches for 130 yards.