Friday, December 5, 2008

Pat's Top 10 According to Dolomite

I won't be attending the USF game. I'm not mad at the team or giving up on them, but I do have a new position at work and some responsibilities I have to attend to. I have attended 9 of our 11 games this year and will try attend that many for the rest of my life, but even my myopic ass knows that sometimes, some things have to come before football.

That does not diminish the fact that we have a very important revenge game, and it is the last game for the greatest player that has ever played football at WVU. In honor of his last game, I would like to list, what I think, are his top 10 plays. Most of these plays are legendary and I'm proud to say that I saw most of them live.

10. The last game in 2005 was against USF, and we had the confrence and BCS bowl game locked up. However, respect for the conference and WVU was on the line. For the first time all season Steve Slaton was having trouble finding holes and Pat just took over. Pat drops back, surveys field and scampers 70 yards to a game changing score.

9. In the Fiesta Bowl last year, OU had just scored to bring the game within 14 I think. On second down, Pat drops back, looks over the field and delivers a laser to a double covered Tito Gonzales. Tito catches it, a DB rolls off of his back and he goes 83 yards and starts the rout of the sooners. Pat got drilled on this play, and the whole thing was more reminiscent of something Payton Manning would do than a running QB.

8. Pitt ran a punt back against us in the 2006 brawl and got back into the game at the end of the half. At the start of the second half, Pitt started to blitz and Pat hit Super Steve on two 60+ yard wheel routes for scores.

7. This isn't one play but at the end of the 4th quarter in the 07 Gator Bowl WVU had a slim 3 point lead against Georgia Tech. RR simply told Pat that we needed a few first downs, and Pat simply delivered that. We kept the ball for the final 5 minutes of the game and came back from 18 points down.

6. The second half against Louisville in 06 was something most would like to forget and many have. However, in the 4th quarter Pat White solidified himself as a leader in my eyes with his performance. Despite numerous fumbles by SS and Owen Pat just kept going and running for for first downs and throwing for TD's. We lost, but Pat showed that he is THE leader of the team and program and that he was never going to give in.

5. Against Louisville in 08, in the second half, Pat once again showed his leadership by simply making all of the plays. He took one in from 45 and threw for two more. In doing so, he broke the all time record for rushing by a NCAA QB. I couldn't think of a more deserving guy.

This is when it gets I'll miss Pat.

4. Strange things happened to WVU in November of 2007 and it all began against Louisville. In the first half, WVU scored in multiple ways, but Brian Brohm and Harry Douglas proved to be constant thorns in our sides. With two minutes to go Louisville kicked a field goal to tie it up. Pat got us to the 50 and on second down, he got loose for a 50 yard scoring run. Incredibly clutch and classic Pat White.

3. In sub zero temperatures in 2005 against Pitt, Pat dropped back looked left for Drey on a screen, right for Brandon Miles on a screen but both were covered. HB Blades nearly takes his head off, but Pat makes him miss. Pat then scampers 70 yards to an icy, endzone and 445-21 blow out over the hated Pitt Panthers. When he was interviewed at the half by Erin Andrews, Dave Wannstadt broke down the play much like last year. Andrews asked what Pitt needed to do in order to stop WVU and White in the second half. Wanny being Wanny simply said that they must get faster.......

I'm starting to get misty eyed here...

2. The first quarter of the Sugar Bowl in 2006 might have been the most magnificent display of offense I have ever seen. In the second half, the Bulldogs, who were playing a basic home game, came back on us. After a penalty we had a 3rd and 9 from our 9 with three minutes to go. Pat drops back and takes off. I'm not sure how many he juked, but it was at least half of the Georgia defense. Many, if not most, will remember Phil Brady's fake punt to ultimately seal it, but that play would have never been possible had Pat not made one of the most amazing 11 yard runs you will ever see.

With water on the keyboard.....

1. You might recall that in 2005, Louisville was the hands down favorite to win the league, and WVU was a young team with little expectations. Pat didn't even start the game and played little through the first 52 minutes. Down by 17, Adam Bednarick got injured and Pat had to come in and convert a first down with a 2nd and 20. He did just that with a nice pass to Drey. After drops by Jollah and Brandon Marshall, Pat then had a 4th and ten. Louisville only rushed three and Pat ran around Eric Johnson and Elvis Dummervill (both in the NFL) to get the first down. WVU scored a few plays later. After an amazing on sides kick and a field goal it was once again 4th down and a long yard this time. Louisville brought the house and Pat used his speed and vision to take it around the corner to a first down. Steve Slaton scored to set up the game tying extra point two plays later. These two plays kept this game alive. More importantly, this game was the catalyst for WVU's unparallelled success from 2005-07. From this point on, WVU would not lose another football game for another year, and would only lose 3 more in the next two seasons. One thing for sure...he will be missed. Lets hope I can replace one of these plays with a play tomorrow....IMO chances are good.

Good Times and Bad Times on the Ohio

First the good

My attorney and I started the day in Lexington, and quickly made our way to view the kickoff at Papa Johns stadium (the slice as they call it.) The first half was more of the same BS we have seen all year. Trips inside the 5 that ended with missed field goals or little daddy slipping while walking in the endzone. Can Noel Devine get some longer cleats or something? The guy seems get tackled by the turf more than any player I have ever seen when its cold. Also, for a guy that was a special teams coach, you would think that Stew of all people would realize that Pat Mac does not kick the ball well when kicking from the left hash and inside the ten. I know that most of our third down plays in the redzone involve some sort of run pass option for Pat, but you would think that we would change it up if we know we are going to kick the field goal on 4th down?

The second half was amazing. Louisville fans were giving us high fives and confessing their man love for PW. I was amazed when Pat was left in during the 4th quarter to get the record, but I was glad that I got to see it. Overall it was a good trip but pretty darn cold.

On Black Friday, my attorney and I woke up at 5am like many other Americans, but it was not so we could catch a good sale or get a wii. It was to head north, to Yinzer town to see the 101st addition of the backyard brawl. This was about revenge. And despite the fact that we had to sit in the nose bleed seats and brave the cold Ohio River wind, I knew we were going to get ours. Instead, we gave another one away. Two posessions inside the ten with no points, another we got down to the ten but it was called back for a penalty. Same story, same river wind, but a different result. When Lashan McCoy got the ball on the edge on the same fake dive play that killed us last year and took it for a key first down I knew it was all over. Cincy winning against the Cuse took a little bit of the sting away, but irrelevance after being dominant for so many years is a little hard to swallow.