Tag:Pat White
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:47 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Arizona

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Arizona.

Spring Practice Starts: March 5

Spring Game: April 14

Returning starters: Six offensive, five defensive, two specialists.

Three Things To Look For:

1.  Is Matt Scott as snug a fit for Rich Rodriguez's offense as he seems to be? Many college football fans have probably forgotten about Scott, but that's not his fault; the fifth-year senior and de facto Wildcat starter made highly successful cameos in both 2009 and 2010 before injuries and the emergence of Nick Foles consigned him to the bench. Though he's not going to be Pat White or Denard Robinson, Scott has more than enough mobility to be a weapon on the run -- his two 2010 starts yielded more than 130 combined yards on the ground -- and sufficient accuracy to keep defenses plenty honest. In short, Scott should be exactly the sort of quarterback Rodriguez would have wanted to inherit, a sort of Tate Forcier-type with vastly more experience (and vastly less, you know, academic ineligibility and such). If spring camp shows signs that Scott's picking the offense up as quickly as Rodriguez would want, the Wildcat offense could be something dynamic come the fall.

2. Are you sure? Who are the difference-making skill-position players? If Rodriguez was handed a nice housewarming gift in the person of Scott, on paper he hasn't been nearly as lucky at running back or wide receiver. Both the Wildcats' leading rusher from a year ago (Keola Antonin) and receiver (All-American Juron Criner) have departed, not to mention the team's second- and third-leading receivers as well--2,232 receiving yards in all. The good news is that rising sophomore Ka'Deem Carey should be ready to build on a promising debut season in the backfield, and that 6'4" senior Dan Buckner should have a breakout season in the receiving corps; the bad news is that if they're not, Scott may be forced to shoulder a heavier load than even he's capable of carrying.

3. Can the defense stay healthy? With Rodriguez's old ace defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel back in his staffing fold -- a failing at Michigan that, more than any other individual factor, led to Rodriguez's downfall in Ann Arbor -- the Wildcats shouldn't lack for defensive know-how. And in safety tandem Adam Hall and Marquis Flowers, defensive linemen Justin Washington and Kirifi Taula, and linebacker Jake Fischer, Castell will have some tools to work with. But that assumes those tools stay healthy--Fischer tore an ACL in spring camp 2011 and missed the entire season, a blow from which the linebacking corps never seemed to truly recover. If Casteel can get out of this spring with all of his key pieces intact, the Wildcats should be able to take a step forward on the defensive side of the ball in 2012.

To check in on the rest of the Pac-12 and other BCS conferences, check out the Spring Practice Schedule

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 4:57 pm

QUICK HITS: No. 19 West Virginia 55, NSU 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

WEST VIRGINIA WON. After trailing 12-10 at halftime, West Virginia rolled off 45 unanswered points in the route of Norfolk State. Quarterback Geno Smith led the way for the offensive onslaught, throwing for 372 yards and four touchdowns. Even backup Paul Millard got a taste of the pass happy scheme, completing 5 of 6 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in the final scoring drive of the game.

WHY WEST VIRGINIA WON: Norfolk State was penalized 19 times for 169 yards.

Yes, that's NINETEEN times for 169 yards - nearly double the total rushing yards for the Spartans. The Mountaineer defense held Norfolk State to 2-for-15 on third downs and the offense was only able to pickup 285 adds of total offense. The execution errors in the second half, along with allowing Smith to have his way with the secondary, put the game out of reach fast.

WHEN WEST VIRGINIA WON: It only took 13 total plays and under five minutes for the Mountaineers to reclaim the lead and begin piling on the punishment. Norfolk State picked up just 16 yards in that span, the Mountaineers collected 146 and 14 points.

WHAT WEST VIRGINIA WON: West Virginia was unable to get their running game going in the first half. Norfolk State comfortably left four men in the box and dared the Mountaineers to run the ball. Once the passing game got going in the second half Vernard Roberts was able to take advantage of increased opportunities, but the first half will give the Mountaineers plenty to work on before facing Maryland next weekend in College Park.

WHAT NORFOLK STATE LOST With a 12-10 halftime lead, Norfolk State had the attention of the nation as one of several possible upsets in the early slate of games. Allowing West Virginia's defense to roll off three straight unanswered touchdowns in ten minutes disinterested the masses and erased any memory of that close first half.

THAT WAS CRAZY. West Virginia's offensive production against the Spartans marked the highest point total since the Mountaineers beat Connecticut 66-21 in 2007. West Virginia totaled 517 yards rushing on the Huskies, led by Pat White, Noel Devine and Steve Slaton in that game. That was Rich Rodriguez's last year at West Virginia, and the team eventually defeated Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The Mountaineers have a long way to go before being able to be compared to that 2007 team, but the second half on Saturday was a start.
Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:49 pm

Mushnick doesn't know what he's talking about

Posted by Adam Jacobi

(Lest this all comes across as purely a defense of Rich Rodriguez on the grounds that he too is now part of the CBS Sports family, the scenario of former Florida coach Urban Meyer being hired by ESPN fits Mushnick's argument quite nicely too, so feel free to replace "Rich Rodriguez" with "Urban Meyer" and "West Virginia" with "Florida" when necessary.)

Permit me, if you will, to not take Phil Mushnick's latest diatribe seriously. In it, Mushnick (a columnist for the New York Post, which, yeah) excoriates the CBS Sports Network for hiring former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, noting that Rich Rodriguez recruited Adam Jones and Chris Henry at West Virginia. If that seems like a peculiarly weak argument, well, let's have Mushnick make it himself:

The same Rich Rodriguez who regularly recruited and indulged criminals and assorted bad boys as the head coach at West Virginia and then Michigan?

Yeah, that one.

Pacman Jones and the late Chris Henry, for example, starred for Rodriguez at WVU. Both would accumulate rap sheets as thick as playbooks. But such players helped land Rodriguez the gig at Michigan, where the stadium they call "The Big House," began to take on the other meaning.

For one, Michigan's three years under Rich Rodriguez weren't characterized at all by excessive crime, so while the "Big House" crack would seem clever to someone operating with no knowledge of the situation, it's so transparently false that it doesn't even make sense. Lame jokes aside, Chris Henry and Adam Jones did accumulate substantial criminal records... as NFL players. While at WVU, Jones received probation for one fight, and Henry's worst transgressions were limited to unsportsmanlike behavior on the field. Hardly the stuff of rap sheet legend.

As for the other "criminals and assorted bad boys" that Rodriguez "regularly recruited," what is Mushnick even talking about? Sure, what Pat White and Steve Slaton did to Georgia's defense in the 2006 Sugar Bowl ought to be illegal, but this notion that Rodriguez turned Morgantown into Compton, West Virginia is basically a figment of Mushnick's imagination and nothing more.

Mushnick then bizarrely claims that -- again, this is a quote -- "few college presidents, ADs or head coaches could beat racketeering indictments," then offers no evidence before moving on. As Wikipedia would say, [citation needed].

The rest of his argument is spent on basically making the case that there should be no such thing as college athletics at all; it's the only conclusion possible when Mushnick conjures up the bogeyman specter of big-time athletes having "no other business enrolled in the college" while ignoring the 939 APR (essentially, a student-athlete retention rate of at least 94%; here's how it's calculated) Rodriguez left West Virginia with in the spring of 2008. That's essentially the average across the NCAA, and it's considerably higher than the general student retention rate in higher education, where over 40% of incoming students fail to graduate. Now, there's a difference between remaining academically eligible year-by-year and actually graduating, but by and large, NCAA student-athletes seem to be outperforming their fellow students in the classroom. Not bad for a bunch of thugs.

Mushnick's column is a perfect encapsulation of low-information stereotypes of NCAA athletics. It is drive-by, tabloid moralizing. It has all the permanence, importance, and elegance of last night's dinner floating by in the sewer. It is, in the words of William Faulkner Shakespeare, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  

Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:50 am
Edited on: September 16, 2010 9:51 am

Pat White on Denard Robinson: 'He's a beast.'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Pat White was one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in college football across the last decade.  His 4,480 yards rushing are the most of any quarterback in FBS history.  Under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, the dual-threat White set all kinds of school and conference records for total yards and finished as the first quarterback in college football history to start and win four bowl games.

While White is stepping away from football to join the Kansas City Royals baseball organization, his name has been brought in college football recently up as a comparison for Michigan's Denard Robinson.  White was recently asked about Robinson, and like all of us, he is impressed.

"He's a beast, that's all you can say," White said Wednesday in a teleconference announcing his shift from pro football to a baseball career with the Kansas City Royals. "He's just doing amazing things out there."  

"He obviously knows the position and looks like a hard runner and a good leader," White said. "He doesn't look afraid to run the ball or stick his nose in there."

Rich Rodriguez has had to live through two seasons of forcing his spread option on mostly-Lloyd Carr team before finally getting the pieces in place in 2010.  Robinson showed flashes of potential in 2009, but was not ready to handle the starting duties.  The sophomore looks more than comfortable with the offense in his hands.  Against Notre Dame, 94% of Michigan's offensive plays ran directly through him, including every play of the winning drive in the final minutes.

Robinson's, who is already on the short list of Heisman hopefuls, first goal will be to return Michigan to the postseason, something that has not been accomplished in Ann Arbor yet under Rich Rod's tenure.  With wins over Connecticut and Notre Dame, the Wolverines are off to a great start.  As long as Robinson's legs keep moving, they will always have a chance.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com