West Virginia Notebook -- Banged-up White should be just fine
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Patrick White bent gingerly from his knees to pick up something while leaving the field.
His right thigh, bruised a week ago at South Florida, wasn't the problem. It was his aching chest.
The 2006 Big East offensive player of the year likely would be unable to play in a week, were the Mountaineers not idle until Mississippi State in a fortnight. The extra recovery time is much appreciated by White, who strained a muscle on a third-quarter run yesterday amid West Virginia's 55-14 rout.
"A lot of pain in my chest," White described later. He had just sliced and diced his way through the Syracuse defense, on a third-and-5 play that gained 27 yards, when newly converted linebacker Jameel McLain and safety Joe Fields combined to wrestle him down. Fields slammed atop the vertical quarterback's right shoulder, compressing him.
"He drove me into the ground" was how White put it.
White arose slowly and headed for the visiting sideline, then crumpled, same as last week with the thigh bruise. He said it was mostly a ploy, however, to get backup Jarrett Brown some warmup time.
Asked if the chest muscle required an X-ray or MRI, White responded: "We'll see."
He was still grimacing long afterward, admitting that he hoped the pain would pass in time.
West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez declined to specify the injury -- "Just a muscle, that's all we give out" -- but didn't seem fretful, especially with 13 more days to Mississippi State and Brown (16 yards on five carries, 5 for 5 passing for 85 yards) readily available.
"He'll be fine," Rodriguez said of White.
Pant, pant. . . TD
Not since Jeff Seals, some 310 games ago against Boston College in 1981, had a West Virginia defensive lineman scored a touchdown. Then along came All-Big East nose guard Keilen Dykes.
Linebacker Reed Williams timed a thudding hit on intended receiver Taj Smith as the slip-screen pass arrived, and the ball popped into the open arms of Dykes.
"I hadn't touched the ball in five years," said Dykes, referring to Youngstown, Ohio's Chaney High. "It was the longest 20, 25 yards of my life."
Actually, it was 19.
"I thought I was going to have to push Dykes in, he was running so slow," teased safety Ryan Mundy.
"I went to the sideline looking for oxygen," added Dykes.
'Eers to the ground
Owen Schmitt, with just 20 carries and five catches and no touchdowns this season, became something of an offensive focus at Syracuse. He had eight carries for 39 yards and a pair of touchdowns, his third two-score game of his career, along with a 31-yard catch and a 27-yard pooch punt inside the Syracuse 20.
Safety Max Suter of Greensburg Central Catholic made his first collegiate start, one of nine true freshman starters for Syracuse this day.
First Published October 7, 2007 12:00 am