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 BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -West Virginia's electric offense is a big hit among gamers, eager to maneuver Mountaineers sensational signal caller Pat White down the field in ``NCAA Football '09.''
He's dazzling and dangerous. Who wouldn't want to be at the controls of White's fleet feet and dynamic arm in a video game?
Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins certainly understands.
``I think 95 percent of the people on campus always like to play with (West Virginia) in video games,'' Hawkins said. ``They're a very exciting team.''
The Buffaloes expect White and the No. 21 Mountaineers to live up to their video game version when they make their first-ever appearance at Folsom Field on Thursday night.
``They are obviously one of the best teams in the country and deservedly so,'' Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said. ``They've got a lot of talent, a Heisman guy at quarterback.''
er of the year the past two years. White is fourth on the NCAA's all-time quarterback rushing list with 3,666 yards. He needs just 624 more to pass former Missouri quarterback Brad Smith for the top spot.
So, what's the secret to stopping a dual threat like White?
``Tackle him,'' defensive tackle George Hypolite deadpanned.
That's far easier to say than do.
``He's a great player who presents a lot of problems, but we feel like (if) we can somehow put some pressure on him and keep him from scrambling for 150 yards, we'll have a chance,'' Hypolite explained.
The Buffaloes need to borrow a page or two from East Carolina's script, as the Pirates stunned the Mountaineers, 24-3, on Sept 6. The East Carolina defense kept White bottled up, limiting him to 97 yards rushing and just 72 more through the air.
``West Virginia didn't have a whole lot of success throwing the ball against them,'' Colorado linebacker Jeff Smart said. ``We have to look at that and try and do some of the same things.''
The Mountaineers may curtail their air attack and concentrate on cranking up their run game. West Virginia is one of the best rushing squads this decade, but the team is averaging just 164 yards on the ground so far this season, a pedestrian 50th in the nation.
everything.''
The Mountaineers (2-1) have had ample time to heal their pride from the stinging loss. They were ranked eighth in the AP Top 25 before their meltdown in Greenville, N.C.
``We're trying to regroup our troops and stay ready,'' White said. ``We've been working a lot trying to get the kinks out and just try to put everything together.''
West Virginia coach Bill Stewart's message this week has been direct - let the loss go.
``We have to set our sights on what is there for us,'' Stewart said. ``I told them to play like they were little - I just want them to go out there and have fun. You can't be reckless, but you have to let your people play.''
The Buffaloes (2-0) feel fortunate to still be among the undefeated, needing defensive back Cha'pelle Brown's late 27-yard interception for a touchdown to fend off Championship Subdivision foe Eastern Washington, 31-24.
The early season inconsistencies aren't a source of concern for Hawkins - not right now at least. He figured his young squad might take a while to find their way.
``There's still a ton of questions,'' said Hawkins, whose team is looking to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2004. ``We're so green. We're so raw. We're still evolving.''
igate, rushing 24 times for 93 yards in two contests.
``We're just trying to let (Scott) evolve however he evolves naturally,'' Hawkins said. ``We know there is going to be some growing pains there. But hey, eventually, when we get all those five, six, seven guys on the same page, it's going to be electric.''
The Buffaloes defense is just hoping to contain the elusive White and the Mountaineers offense.
``They're a very explosive team,'' Smart said.
Just like the video version.
---
AP Sports Writer John Raby contributed to this report from Charleston, W.Va.
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