By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Kevin White will be honorary captain of West Virginia’s football team for Saturday’s Big 12 game against TCU.
This seems most appropriate because the Arizona native quarterbacked the 1984 Mountaineers to their only victory over the Horned Frogs.
That was 31-14 against TCU in the Bluebonnet Bowl on New Year’s Eve of 1984 in Houston, Texas. The Horned Frogs were nationally ranked and a solid favorite.
White, who turned 50 in September, is in his 10th year as a Superior Court judge. He resides in Casa Grande, Ariz.
He had the greatest performance of his career that night and was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
White completed 16 of 30 passes for a career-high 280 yards and three touchdowns. “That probably was my best game,” he acknowledged this week. “We finished the year 8-4.”
Senior wide receiver Willie Drewrey also had an outstanding night. He caught six passes for 152 yards.
WVU built a 31-7 bulge in the first half, then coasted during the second half.
White’s touchdown throws were to John Gay, 2 yards; Gary Mullen, 62 yards, and Ron Wolfley, 5 yards. John Holifield ran one yard for the other TD.
All-America kicker Paul Woodside booted a 21-yard field goal and four extra points. Attendance for the game was 43,260.
“We also posted memorable victories in 1984 against Pitt, Penn State, Boston Collage and Virginia Tech,” White recalled.
Don Nehlen, the Hall of Famer, was in his fifth year as WVU head coach. And he’ll tell you that the 1984 team was really better than its 8-4 record.
“That was a really good football team,” he said. “We beat Boston College and Penn State back-to-back.
“Kevin White played very consistent all year and he was great that night when we upset TCU. The Horned Frogs were strictly a man-to-man team defensively, and we didn’t have an elaborate passing team.
“But Kevin played well all year for us. He had his best game and we hurt TCU badly by putting in a wrinkle or two. It was just a great night for us.”
Nehlen remembers that the TCU coach told him after the bowl game, “Your team is better than any team we played all season.”
A Houston writer said he had not seen any quarterback in the Southwest Conference perform as well as White did.
He and his wife Cathie have three children. Daughters are Sarah and Rona. The youngest is their son Kevin Jr.
The parents plan to bring all three youngsters to Morgantown with them to visit where their father played football.