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Freshman keys WVU comeback over Louisville

October 16, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Freshman Steve Slaton scored six touchdowns after halftime, including all three of West Virginia's scores after regulation, and the Mountaineers came from 17 points down to beat No. 19 Louisville 46-44 in triple overtime on Saturday.

With fellow freshman Jason Gwaltney out for a month with a knee injury, Slaton got the workload for the Mountaineers in his second career start, finishing with 188 yards on 31 carries.

Slaton put the Mountaineers (6-1, 3-0 Big East) ahead with a short TD run in the third overtime and backup quarterback Pat White, who entered the game after Adam Bednarik got hurt in the fourth quarter, found Dorrell Jalloh with a 2-point conversion pass for a 46-38 lead.

Louisville's Michael Bush answered with his fourth touchdown, but Brian Brohm was tackled by Eric Wicks short of the goal line on the 2-point conversion try, sending thousands of Mountaineer fans onto the field in a celebration that seemed highly unlikely an hour earlier.

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Slaton, who ran for five TDs and caught a scoring pass, broke the school record of five touchdowns set by Ira Errett Rodgers in 1919 and later matched by two others.

Bush and Brohm staked Louisville (4-2, 0-2 Big East) to a 24-7 third-quarter lead, and it seemed the Cardinals finally got the solid effort they had shown in three blowout wins at home but lacked on the road.

But Louisville's defense, which had limited West Virginia to just 56 total yards in the first half, fell apart in the fourth quarter.

The Mountaineers put together three scoring drives in a seven-minute span, including Slaton's 1-yard TD run with a minute left in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 24.

He was far from done.

Slaton scored on runs of 2, 23 and 1 yards in the extra periods.

It was the largest comeback win for West Virginia since it overcame a 19-point deficit to beat Maryland in 1992.

The 90 points scored were a stadium record, topping the 87 points scored in 2001 in a game with Rutgers.

Bush finished with 37 carries for 159 yards.

The loss kept Louisville winless in the league and dealt a huge blow to the Cardinals' hopes of their first Bowl Championship Series bid. West Virginia avoided falling into a tie with Rutgers and Pittsburgh atop the league standings.

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