MARSHALL WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia’s Pat White drops back to pass against Marshall during a game from Sept. 2, 2006, at Milan Puskar Stadium. White won four bowl games in his four seasons as the Mountaineers’ quarterback.

It’s not West Virginia quarterback Patrick White’s style to run out of bounds on keeper plays.

He said Monday night he just has to use good judgment when to take a would-be tackler’s shot and when not to do that.

The subject came up after the talented sophomore strained a muscle or hurt ribs in his side in the first half of last Saturday’s 42-10 victory over Marshall.

“I’m a little sore,” White admitted. “It’s not very much, only a little bit.”

But he said he would have been able to play if the Mountaineers had a game that Monday night.

“I wouldn’t want to have to play now, but I’d be out there playing if we had a game,” White stressed.

Coach Rich Rodriguez said, “Sure, there’s a fine line there. But Pat is a smart guy. He understands when to take a shot and when he shouldn’t take one.

“I don’t want to curb his enthusiasm or his aggressiveness. That’s part of what he is. It’s part of what makes him special.”

A writer asked White why he didn’t step out of bounds instead of trying to get a couple more yards when running with the ball.

“When I’m moving around, I definitely don’t have that mentality,” he replied. “I don’t know how to slide. And I’m not used to running out of bounds.”

Oh, the Alabama native certainly knew how to slide playing baseball on a diamond. But he turned down a rich contract to play college football.

“I’ve played baseball my whole life,” he said. “I did some sliding between first and third. But there’s a difference.

“A slide is a slide. But I’m in a totally different mindset when on the football field.”

White doesn’t worry about possible injury. Sometimes that can be a bad thing and hamper an athlete’s performance.

He hurt his side in preseason camp drills, but bounced back from that. Like Rodriguez, he hopes it’s not a recurring problem.

“I thought I had a pretty good performance in the first game,” White said. “But I always can play better. I made a few mistakes.”

He explained that picking up reads was troublesome at times. But Rodriguez thought he made good decisions for the most part.

White completed 10 of 14 passes for a career-high 168 yards and two touchdowns. He also netted 48 yards on seven rushes.

He was cited by coaches along with tailback Steve Slaton as offensive co-champions for the game. Slaton rushed for 203 yards and two scores.

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