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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
7/18/2007 01:24:00 PM

Slaton-White Unplugged

Oakland Arena
West Virginia's Pat White (left) and Steve Slaton (right) may be the most explosive 1-2 punch in college football.
Charles LeClaire/WireImage.com
NEWPORT, R.I. -- West Virginia teammates Pat White and Steve Slaton are competitors. And we’re not even talking about football.

A playful argument broke out Tuesday morning at the Mountaineers’ table at Big East Media Day regarding their respective stats. Not rushing stats, mind you -- “Bubble Breaker” stats. The two have apparently been playing the cell-phone puzzle game a lot lately.

“Steve doesn’t believe me,” said White, pulling out his phone. “My high score is 1,238. What’s yours?”

“1,254,” replied Slaton, showing it up for all to see.

“Yeah, well I’m better,” replied White. “What’s your average?”


At this point, a wide smile broke out on the quarterback’s face as he held up his own phone. “Four ... thirty ... three.”

“That’s because I let my little brother play a few games,” said Slaton. He messed up my stats.”

“Other people have been playing mine, too,” said White.

“Let’s go right now,” said Slaton.

Such repartee is exactly what you might expect from two Mountaineers stars who are entering their third year playing together and, in addition to spending all that time in the backfield together, are now rooming together as well. In addition to Bubble Breaker, their friendly rivalry also extends to Pop-A-Shot (where Slaton apparently wins nine out of 10), video games (though White says he’s only recently picked up that hobby) and certain off-color jokes that unfortunately can’t be reprinted here.

Bring up the subject of the Heisman Trophy, however – the prestigious award which the two would seem to be in direct competition for as well – and suddenly the joking stops.

“Steve and I know that it’s a team award,” said White. “Troy Smith won it and went in what, the fifth round? The national championship is more important.”

That was about the only politically correct answer the surprisingly outgoing White put forth during a brief interview. Asked about the significance of his coach, Rich Rodriguez, turning down Alabama last December to return to Morgantown, the Daphne, Ala., native replied, “We’re West Virginia. Who’s Alabama?”

Asked if the Mountaineers would crave the opportunity to prove themselves nationally against a USC or an LSU, the fleet-footed QB briefly dodged the question before replying, “I see us as the best team [in the country]. I don’t see anyone that’s better -- honestly.”

It turns out Slaton and White are also YouTube fiends, and they’ve seen practically all of the fan-produced highlight reels out there. Asked if he’s seen a certain other YouTube clip – the one of incoming teammate Noel Devine’s high-school exploits – White giddily replies, “Have I?”

The Slaton-White Show is already Must-See TV whenever the Mountaineers appear on the dial. Now they’re keeping people entertained off the field as well.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |


Posted: 11:19 AM   by ae1525
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 11:23 AM   by ae1525
who cares? neither one will make a major impact in the nfl. white can't throw and will be lucky if he can be a slash type player. slaton's odds are better, but he is still too small to be a feature back in the nfl and the odds are stacked against him having a long and/or productive career. at least they're enjoying the moment now, b/c this will probably be the highlight of their football careers.
Posted: 12:26 PM   by pete
Hey I thought this was a college football blog? Who cares what they do 5 years from now?
Posted: 12:33 PM   by Anthony
This isn't a discussion about their pro-outlook. They have at least one more year, maybe two, of playing college. As far as that goes, they're one of the most entertaining tandems in college football. The offense that Rodriguez has designed is simply fun to watch (except when running over my beloved Georgia). It's a simple concept. Spread the field and let your athletes make things happen. In that vein, White and Slaton are incredible at what they've been able to do so successfully the past two years. Having said that, I think that WV doesn't have the defense to win it all. Slaton and White can, and have, been stopped before.
Posted: 12:39 PM   by Sean O
White & Slaton are both fast enough to succeed in the NFL at some level. Having watched White in person torching my beloved and overmatched UConn Huskies, he is a much better passer than people give him credit for. He's not good on the short stuff but throws a beautiful deep ball.

I'd also like to say that Slaton & White (& Devine) are so good it's unfair. They played UConn on a rainy night in October and it looked like they were on asphalt because of their speed. They should not lose to anyone this year, period. I don't care how bad the defense is, they should put up 50 on everybody.
Posted: 5:49 PM   by G.L.
I have to admit, they are really fun to watch... BUT, so is Davis and Spiller from Clemson. After running wild over every defense they faced, the Clemson tandem met a fierce Va. Tech defense who packed the box and dared Will Protor to throw (Which obviously he could not). After that, everyone knew the way to stop Clemson's running attack. White will have to use his arm more this year if WV has any chance at a National Title.
Posted: 7:15 PM   by inthegarden
who cares??? those of us that call ourselves college football fans do. what a jackass comment. Many of the best players in the college game go on to be average NFLers or even passed up altogether for the pros. Doesn't matter.

These two guys are more fun to watch than most combos over the past 10 years. Football is more entertaining when they're on the tube and especially seeing them in person. They also are both great guys with wonderful character and sense of humor. It's nice to see guys like this when Vick is all that has made the headlines the past few days.

White has a great arm, he just rarely has to use it, and when he does he performs pretty darn well. Slaton, although a tad small, has put on a few extra pounds of muscle this spring and summer, and now has two good wrists and will be 100% this year for the first time in a few seasons. I'm really looking forward to seeing them put on their display this year.

ae1525 - go find yourself an NFL blog to lurk around.
Posted: 8:54 AM   by fbblogger
ar1525 I think that you are right, Slaton probably is too small 5-10 and 210 lbs. There is now way that LaDainian Timlinson 5-10 and 220 lbs or Reggie Bush 6-0 and 200lbs could ever make an impact in the NFL.
Posted: 10:24 AM   by buff1040
Pat White and Steve Slaton are both great people and a lot of fun to watch. When the get into the end zone, they act like they've been there before and expect to be back. In games where a team is determined to stop one of them, they get torched by the other. Anybody who questions White's passing ability should not that if he had one more attempt, he would have ranked 12th in the NCAA in passing effiency. Last year versus Pittsburgh, they loaded the box and dared him to throw it. He did, and in the first half had two beautiful deep touchdown passes...to Steve Slaton. I wish these two guys nothing but the best this year.
Posted: 10:26 AM   by ae1525
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 10:48 AM   by ae1525
steve slaton is listed at 5-10 195 and pat white is listed at 6-2 190 as posted on the WVU website if you believe those numbers. 25 lbs lighter than LT and 5 lbs lighter than Bush (and Bush would dwarf Slaton if they stood side by side). Neither LT nor Regie Bush came from "spread the field, fake em out, and run around the end" offenses. both have the ability to run between the tackles and handle 20-30 times per game and showed it in college. Slaton averaged about 17 carries per game last year and has never shown that he is able to take the beating that an every down back in the NFL needs to handle and won't be able to in the offense he is currently in.
Posted: 11:30 AM   by Ryan
Once again, who cares about the NFL.
Posted: 11:55 AM   by andrew
2007 may prove to be a "banner year" for the West Virginia Mountaineers! I watched WVU in Jacksonville FL dismantle the Georgia Tech Bulldogs on Jan.1st and not even THE GREAT CALVIN JOHNSON could save em! I "PREDICT" WVU will play USC for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP and come out on top! Steve Slaton will win the HEISMAN and will go PRO in 2008!

Patrick White will come back in 2008 to win the Heisman and go PRO in 2009!!!


Andrew in Vienna....Have a nice day!
Posted: 5:10 PM   by JB
Pat White probably won't go pro. Why get clobbered by linemen when you can play pro baseball. He's been drafted every year by the Angels, and turned down a $750,000/yr contract to play at WVU. Enjoy the college football for the glory and then go play baseball for the $$$.
Given the workouts they've been doing in the offseason, both players are currently packing more muscle than the WVU site lists.
jb in morgantown.
Posted: 2:29 PM   by thomasja_26
This just goes to show the difference between WV football and the rest of the country. I respect the whole mountaineer team so much including White and Slaton, because of their humble attitudes. Mountaineer sports should be an inspiration to any up and coming team. Mountaineers do not show boat, nor over celebrate and never brag. Right now White and Slaton both know their two of the nations top players, however instead of boasting they talk about bubble breaker....... Love My Mountaineers whether their number 1!!!! or dead last........ And whether Slaton or White make it to the NFL doesn't matter they will always in my mind be considered stand up guys!!!!!!!!
Posted: 7:18 PM   by G.L.
Andrew, It's the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, not bulldogs. That would get you into trouble in Atlanta. They don't call it "good old fashioned hate" between UGA and Ga. Tech for nothing. LOL
Posted: 11:28 PM   by Action
Who cares about what they will do in the NFL. We are talking about "College Football". White can throw when necessary and Emmitt Smith was too slow and too small to play in the NFL. Ummm...who is the leagues all time leading rusher? Anyway, barring injury both will have a great season. They know the offense fowards and backwards. Defenses can not concentrate on just one of them. And as soon you take the two of them out of the equation, Owen has a big day (i.e. the beginning of the GT game in the Gator Bowl). Everyone knows the main question will be their defense. The pass rush will be better and the secondary has another year under their belt. The hunger has to be there every game and every minute. It wil be up to the coaching staff to make sure the team is hungry even during practice.

Go 'Eers!!
Posted: 10:07 AM   by OlBen1
I'm a WVU alum and a lifelong fan. After years of see my belove Mountaineers being considered mid majors at best, it's great to see the national focus they have now. PC or not they led the re-emergence pf the Big East. Coach Rod deserves a heap of credit. So do White and Slaton. Thanks guys!!
Posted: 12:17 PM   by Jeff
jealous people. just beacause slaton and white don't play for USC, Flordia, SEC, or one of the other so called power schools/conferences you have to down them. They are by far the most exciting and best tandem in the backfield any where in college football today. i will say it right now no matter who WVU plays in a bowl game they will rush for over 300yds combined. lets goooooo MOUNTAINEERS.
Posted: 10:58 PM   by McKenzie
Slaton and White are part of a BIG EAST team that is fun to watch and are winning alot of games. The BIG EAST is better than ever and this looks to be an exciting year for the Mountaineers. With the talent and experience of both of these (good and respectable) guys, they'll certainly be in the hunt for the National Championship game.

What exciting times these are in Morgantown!!!! Man, what if these two come back next year??

West Virginia 13-0 and making the BIG EAST proud.
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