Denard Robinson: Running Down Pat White's Record

Gregory Shamus

I still remember his first collegiate snap at Michigan some 4 years ago. He set up in shotgun formation, botched the snap, picked it up, took it to the sideline, made a cut and seconds later Denard Robinson had scored his first college touchdown. Seconds later. Now that is an impact. I remember thinking to myself right after he was celebrating in the endzone, well Rich Rod found his new Pat White.

Pat White is somewhat of a living legend around these neck of the woods, so to compare Pat White to anyone from a West Virginia's viewpoint is almost blasphemous. Pat White, during his tenure at WVU, accomplished things that won't soon be forgotten in the hearts of Mountaineer fans. His 34-8 starting record is unmatched by any quarterback in WVU history. He's the only quarterback to have started and won 4 consecutive bowl games (2 of those being BCS bowls). He has accounted for 100+ touchdowns, which is a Big East record and his 4,480 yards rushing are the most among any quarterback in FBS history. Currently, Pat White is the All Time Rushing Leader in the History of NCAA for a Quarterback. Currently..

It's eerie how similar these 2 players are when you look at their body of work. They both were freshman when they started. They both made immediate impacts on their team. They both are game changers. They are those X-factors that you can't game plan for. You might try to prepare for them all week but when your defense actually faces them in a game you realize that you couldn't simulate that speed in practice. They take plays that break down and make them touchdowns. They take what you thought was a sure sack and turn them into first downs. They're electric. They excite the fans like few can. When you take away the pass, they'll beat you with their legs and when you take away the run they'll beat you with their arm. They make you pay at the slightest mistake a defense makes. If you slip or take a bad angle or even hesitate for a moment you're looking at their last name as they sprint toward the end-zone. They are run first option quarterbacks and they are win first type of players. When asked what his favorite play is in college football Pat White responded, "The kneel down." Very fitting, considering this play hurt his eye popping statistics.

While White's history at WVU is in the books, Robinson has a few pages yet to write. Robinson has 1 regular season game left against arch-rival Ohio State, a possible Big 10 Championship game and a Bowl game to be determined. Robinson has been banged up as of late but is expected to start. He could start at QB but Michigan is keeping their cards pretty close to their chest. White's 4,480 rushing yard (via ESPN) is tops for a NCAA quarterback. If we don't count Robinson's 98 rushing yards from last week since he didn't line up at QB, ESPN has him at 4,175 rushing yards at QB. That puts Pat White at 305 rushing yards ahead of Denard or 207 yards ahead if you count last weeks numbers as a running back. I'm sticking with 207 yards as the O/U mark. Why? Because I know what athletes can do when given the opportunity at a new position (see Tavon Austin vs Oklahoma) and that shouldn't count against Robinson. And secondly, because I want Pat White to indisputably still own the record. I don't want there to be an * after his record, we already have with the MLB.

This has been a crazy year for WVU football fans. We have already seen records being broken left and right this season. The Baylor shootout, winning at the big stage against Texas, and most recently Tavon Austin's field day against OU. Now one of our own is in jeopardy. Denard and Co. take the field this Saturday at noon ET. While Michigan vs OSU is one of the greatest rivalries in college sports, I have a feeling a lot of Mountaineers will be tuning in and hoping for a stingy D by the scarlet and gray.

So who's the better QB? That's for you to determine. Are you asking a fellow 'Eer from the Mountain State or are you asking a native from Ann Arbor? If we were playing back yard football and you had first pick who would you take? White or Robinson? Is there a wrong answer here? You could argue till the cows come home why one is better than the other and you would be right. There is no denying what these two have done for their respective schools is remarkable indeed. They've shown everything it takes to be a leader of a successful football team. They've shown heart, they've shown toughness, they've shown perseverance and they've shown that speed absolutely kills. They both have made their mark. They both are great. But only one can hold the record..I hope it stays in Morgantown.

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