TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Pat White ran for 177 yards and two
touchdowns Saturday night, leading West Virginia to a 28-13 victory
over South Florida in the 12th-ranked Mountaineers' final tuneup
for a Bowl Championship Series appearance.
Nine days after running for 220 yards against Pittsburgh to
break the Big East rushing record for a quarterback, White was just
as impressive in helping the conference champions finish unbeaten
in league play for the first time since 1993.
The redshirt freshman scored on second-half runs of 65 and 76
yards and finished with his fourth game with at least 100 yards
rushing. He also completed 5 of 10 passes for 89 yards and a
touchdown as the Mountaineers amassed 394 yards of total offense --
305 of that on the ground.
The victory was the sixth straight for West Virginia (10-1, 7-0)
and gave the Mountaineers at least 10 wins in a season for the
first time since 1993 and just the fifth time in school history.
The dominating performance dispelled any notion that the
Mountaineers lacked motivation to win their regular-season finale
after wrapping up the Big East title and the league's automatic BCS
berth when USF (6-5, 4-3) lost at Connecticut last week.
Steve Slaton rushed for 89 yards and one TD for the
Mountaineers, and West Virginia's defense limited Big East rushing
leader Andre Hall to 75 yards on 20 carries for South Florida.
Despite finishing with a two-game losing streak, USF still
expects to receive its first invitation to play in a bowl game.
The Bulls were eliminated from contention for the conference
title and the league's spot in the BCS when they lost at UConn,
however representatives of the Meineke Car Care Bowl and Motor City
Bowl remained interested in the nation's newest Division I-A
West Virginia set the tone by driving 66 yards on 12 rushing
plays to take a 7-0 lead on Slaton's 16th touchdown (14th rushing)
in the freshman's last six games.
White put the Mountaineers up 14-3 with a 7-yard TD pass to
Darius Reynaud, then answered a South Florida field goal with his
65-yard run on West Virginia's first offensive play of the third
quarter. His 76-yarder made it 28-6 early in the fourth quarter.
USF had lots of success moving the ball against the Big East's
top-ranked defense. However, the Bulls stalled both times they
drove inside the West Virginia 5 and settled for two short field
goals by Kyle Bronson.
The Bulls finally got in the end zone with 1:20 left in the
game, scoring on an 11-yard run by backup quarterback Carlton Hill.