The Times West Virginian

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Mickey Furfari

December 29, 2008

Stewart feels good about WVU season

MORGANTOWN — Bill Stewart believes he’s had a pretty good season in his first year as West Virginia University’s head football coach.

In ekeing out a 31-30 victory over North Carolina in Saturday’s Meineke Car Care Bowl game at Charlotte, N.C., the Mountaineers finished the year with a 9-4 record and a 13th postseason win.

It is only the 13th time in school history that WVU has won as many games as nine in a season. And it’s the fourth time in as many years, making the 2008 senior class the most successful ever with a combined 42-13 mark.

In the process, quarterback Patrick White became the only quarterback in NCAA history to win four straight bowl games as a starter. He also won the Most Valuable Player Award in three of those.

“Those old people in the Gold and Blue, they all love him,” Stewart said of White, an Alabama native. “About half of them would like to hang me, and the other half would like to make me governor when Joe Manchin leaves because we won today. But I’m not mad at any of them.

“You know why? Because I’m one of them. They have such passion for football at West Virginia and all they want is for us to be the best, and I want to be the best with them. So I never get mad at them.”

As for Saturday’s 21-14 offensive explosion in the first quarter, Stewart said:

“Oooh, golly! I told all these guys, what is going on? I had told all of our guys that this was going to be a defensive game. I said, ‘My God, we’re going to run out of men.’

“It was just fast and furious, but he (White) was 26 of 32 (passing). A couple drops and he’s 30 of 32.”

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