MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Even in the midst of a humbling three-week stretch, West Virginia’s most dangerous receiver claims he’s close to reaching a mind-body balance that will allow him to become as productive as he is talented.
After a foot injury shelved Kevin White for the season opener, his seven-catch debut at Oklahoma unraveled with a red-zone fumble that killed WVU’s best chance to pull ahead in the third quarter. Then came Week 3 against Georgia State, where White dropped a well-designed screen pass and later was benched on the first drive of the second half after dropping what should have been a 32-yard touchdown pass.
“Saturday was rough—I don’t know what happened. Just let two (passes) go,” White said. “After I dropped the first one, my mind was out of it. Kept thinking about the first one and then I let the second one go.”
The second drop was all his offensive coaches could stomach. White immediately trotted to the sideline, where he remained for the final six possessions of West Virginia’s 41-7 victory.
“(The coaches) were all pissed—they were real mad because they know what I can do,” White said. “I rarely ever make those mistakes (in practice) and when I make them in a game, they get upset. I expect that. My mistake.”
The cheerful White didn’t sulk toward the end of Saturday’s game, redirecting his energy toward cheering on his replacement, KJ Myers, who made six grabs for a career-high 64 yards. Still listed atop the depth chart at outside Z-receiver, White said he didn’t make such careless miscues in junior college and feels they’re readily correctable.
“Just little stuff like looking the ball in, squeezing the ball,” he said. “It’s just my part. It’s not like a corner or a defense is shutting me down. Everything that I mess up on, it’s because of me.
“It’s just mentality. I’ve got to fix some things up and get ready for Maryland.”
Hungry for a slump-buster, the 6-foot-3 White couldn’t ask for a better matchup this week. The Terps recently lost both starting cornerbacks—senior Dexter McDougle (shoulder) and junior Jeremiah Johnson (toe). Subbing in will be senior Isaac Goins, who made two fill-in starts last season, and 5-foot-7 freshman William Likely.
“They’re both real small, so we should be able to do some things to them,” White said. “They’re blitzing and rolling coverages, leaving them out there on an island, so I think we’ll be able to get open and make some big plays.”