Scores

Final

West Virginia 28

(9-1, 4-1 Big 12)

Cincinnati 23

(8-3, 3-3 American)

7:45 PM ET, November 17, 2007

Nippert Stadium, CINCINNATI, OH

1 2 3 4 T
WVU 7 14 0 728
CIN 7 3 0 1323

Top Performers

Passing: B. Mauk (CIN) - 323 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: P. White (WVU) - 27 CAR, 155 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Barnett (CIN) - 10 REC, 210 YDS, 2 TD

QB White carries No. 6 WVU past No. 22 Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Pat White ran another team out of the Big East race, leaving West Virginia (No. 6 BCS, No. 5 AP) with a chance to claim a championship at home.

Losses by No. 2 Oregon and Oklahoma (No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP) could also boost them in the next poll, something that's a secondary concern for now.

"That's the only goal we talk about much -- capturing the Big East championship," coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Now we're to the point that we can say this game is for the Big East championship. It is."

For most of the season, Cincinnati (8-3, 3-3) was one of the conference's biggest surprises, staying in contention with a hard-hitting defense that leads the country in forcing turnovers. The Bearcats (No. 22 BCS, No. 21 AP) couldn't do much except admire White's handiwork.

The junior quarterback ran a career-high 27 times for 155 yards and threw for 140 more, staying one step ahead of the Bearcats defense. Steve Slaton also ran for 103 yards and a 1-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

"A game like this shows that we are close to these teams," Cincinnati safety Haruki Nakamura said. "It can be frustrating chasing Patrick White, but you have to stay focused. White is a great talent. He makes plays."

They've seen this before.

White and Slaton have had their way during three consecutive victories over Cincinnati. West Virginia improved to 14-1-1 all-time against the Bearcats.

White became the first Big East quarterback to run for 3,000 yards in a career. When he wasn't tucking the ball and taking off, White was 13-of-19 for 140 yards. He also threw one tipped interception and had a pair of late fumbles that kept it close.

Next up: A chance to win a title at home.

"It means a lot," White said. "We have home field advantage on our side going into it."

The second fumble set up Bradley Glatthaar's 1-yard touchdown run that cut it to 28-23 with 2:26 left (the two-point conversion attempt failed). West Virginia recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

Cincinnati's no-huddle offense became one-dimensional against the conference's top defense. The only thing that worked consistently for the Bearcats was Ben Mauk to Marcus Barnett.

Mauk rolled to his right and found Barnett behind the defense for a 70-yard touchdown pass that tied it at 7 in the first quarter. He also had a 13-yard touchdown pass to Barnett midway through the fourth quarter.

Mauk was 19-of-34 for 323 yards, not enough to offset White's impact. He also lost a pair of fumbles. Barnett had 10 catches for 210 yards, the fourth-highest total in Cincinnati history.

"We have a lot of good wide receivers and I haven't thrown to Marcus a lot lately," Mauk said. "I think they were concerned about our other receivers."

Last week, White ran 50 yards for a touchdown with 1:36 left for a 38-31 victory over Louisville that kept the Mountaineers in the conference title chase.

Against Cincinnati, White made his mark on West Virginia's last two drives of the half, carrying 11 times for 60 yards and completing five throws for 68 more. He scored from 7 and 4 yards, putting the Mountaineers up 21-10 at halftime.

White's 295 all-purpose yards were the sixth-highest total of his career.

"I think he played like the Big East offensive player of the year -- minus the fumbles," Rodriguez said.

The Mountaineers have been leaning more heavily on White to run in the last three games. He's had 22, 24 and 27 carries, by far the heaviest three-game total of his career.

"I feel pretty good," White said. "I try to get down more than I used to. I'm not taking as many hits as I used to."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WVU
CIN
1st Downs2417
Total Yards435407
Passing140323
Rushing29584
Penalties3-255-62
3rd Down Conversions7-144-13
4th Down Conversions0-11-2
Turnovers32
Possession36:2123:39

Passing Leaders

West VirginiaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
White13/191407.401
CincinnatiC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Mauk19/343239.520

Rushing Leaders

West VirginiaCARYDSAVGTDLG
White271555.7214
Slaton231034.5110
CincinnatiCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mauk15523.5016
Moore5163.2019

Receiving Leaders

West VirginiaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Slaton34816.0032
Jalloh23316.5026
CincinnatiRECYDSAVGTDLG
Barnett1021021.0270
Goodman46416.0031

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWVUCIN
TD10:16Owen Schmitt 4 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 70 yds, 3:08
70
TD04:41Marcus Barnett 70 Yd Pass From Ben Mauk (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 87 yds, 2:03
77
SECOND QUARTERWVUCIN
TD06:29Pat White 7 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:42
147
FG04:32Jake Rogers 42 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 40 yds, 1:57
1410
TD00:33Pat White 4 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 73 yds, 3:59
2110
FOURTH QUARTERWVUCIN
TD11:43Steve Slaton 1 Yd Run (Pat Mcafee Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 67 yds, 4:14
2810
TD07:14Marcus Barnett 13 Yd Pass From Ben Mauk (Jake Rogers Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 71 yds, 4:29
2817
TD02:26Bradley Glatthaar 1 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed)
Drive: 7 plays, 24 yds, 2:03
2823