7:30 PM ET, November 8, 2007
MILAN PUSKAR STADIUM, MORGANTOWN, WV
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia quarterback Pat White's third fumble late in the game helped Louisville erase a 17-point deficit. His final carry kept the sixth-ranked Mountaineers in the thick of the Big East title race.
White scored on a 50-yard run with 1:36 remaining and threw two touchdown passes to help West Virginia beat Louisville 38-31 on Thursday night.
Brian Brohm led Louisville's comeback from a 31-14 deficit midway through the third quarter, with the Cardinals tying it on Art Carmody's 37-yard field goal with 3:05 left.
White then went back to pass, found no one open and capped the 65-yard drive with his scoring run up the left sideline.
"They had everything covered in the passing game. That gave me a seam and the offense line did a good job of cutting the big boys down," White said. "It was great blocking downfield and I got into the end zone."
White finished with 24 carries for 147 yards and threw for 181 more in his third straight stellar game against the Cardinals.
Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said he held his breath on White's final run, hoping for a tackle that never came.
"That's one of the things that's so tough about this offense they run is the fact that their quarterback is such a dynamic player," Kragthorpe said. "That's one of the dimensions that he brings to the game."
Brohm threw a desperation pass that Antonio Lewis intercepted at the West Virginia 7 as time ran out.
The sloppy win allowed West Virginia (8-1, 3-1) to remain on Connecticut's heels for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series with three games left, including a key matchup next week at Cincinnati.
Louisville (5-5, 2-3) was eliminated from the conference title chase. The Cardinals need a win either at South Florida or at home against Rutgers to become bowl eligible for a 10th straight season.
Brohm broke his own Big East record with his seventh 300-yard passing game of the season. He was 27-of-46 for 345 yards, but was intercepted twice and sacked four times.
"When you play aggressive and throw the ball down the field, that's the kind of stuff that's going to happen," Brohm said.
The teams combined for seven turnovers. Louisville held the nation's third-best rushing attack to 216 yards and leading rusher Steve Slaton had just 60 yards on 17 carries, his second-lowest total of the season.
White and Slaton fumbled the ball away a combined three times in the second half to help Louisville get back into the game and the Mountaineers, the least penalized team in the Big East, were flagged 11 times for 116 yards.
"I'd rather win ugly than lose pretty," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We certainly made enough mistakes today to last a full season, but we hung in there."
White fumbled on West Virginia's first possession of the third quarter, but Brohm was hit going back to pass by John Holmes. Eric Wicks scooped up the ball and ran 44 yards for a TD to give the Mountaineers a 31-14 lead.
After Slaton's fumble gave Louisville the ball at the West Virginia 46 late in the third quarter, a pass interference call on Ryan Mundy gave Louisville the ball at the 2. Brock Bolen scored from there to pull Louisville to 31-21.
A pass interference call on Ellis Lankster gave Louisville a first down at the West Virginia 12, and Brohm found Mario Urrutia in the end zone on the next play over an outstretched Lankster to bring the Cardinals to 31-28 with 10:32 left.
They were the first points given up by West Virginia's defense in the fourth quarter in five games.
Louisville got the ball back after another fumble by White, and penalties against West Virginia on consecutive plays put Louisville in field goal range for Carmody's tying kick.
Rodriguez called White's number on every play in the winning drive. White completed both passes and ran twice for 59 yards.
"That just shows what kind of player he is," Louisville tackle Earl Heyman said. "Man, he's fast."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Brian Brohm's Hail Mary pass was intercepted by the West Virginia defense as time expired to preserve the 38-31 win.
Gameball goes to... Pat White. The WVU QB racked up 328 total yards and 3 TDs -- including the game-winner on a 50-yard scoring run.
Stat of the game... 11, 3. The Mountaineers were their own worst enemy with 11 penalties (116 yards) and three turnovers.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-13||5-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-1|
|TD||03:18||Darius Reynaud 7 Yd Pass From Pat White (Pat Mcafee Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 56 yds, 2:46
|TD||01:22||Darius Reynaud 9 Yd Pass From Pat White (Pat Mcafee Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 25 yds, :51
|TD||12:52||Gary Barnidge 16 Yd Pass From Brian Brohm (Arthur Carmody Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 75 yds, 3:30
|TD||07:04||Steve Slaton 1 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick) |
Drive: 12 plays, 69 yds, 5:48
|TD||01:48||Brian Brohm 1 Yd Run (Arthur Carmody Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 59 yds, :28
|FG||12:14||Pat Mcafee 28 Yd |
Drive: 8 plays, 34 yds, 2:46
|TD||06:54||Eric Wicks 44 Yd Fumble Return (Pat Mcafee Kick)||14||31|
|TD||00:56||Brock Bolen 2 Yd Run (Arthur Carmody Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 46 yds, 4:07
|TD||10:32||Mario Urrutia 12 Yd Pass From Brian Brohm (Arthur Carmody Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 67 yds, 1:13
|FG||03:05||Arthur Carmody 37 Yd |
Drive: 6 plays, 42 yds, 2:15
|TD||01:36||Pat White 50 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 65 yds, 1:29