MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On Sunday, Kyzir White will hope to become the 16th former Mountaineer to win a Super Bowl. With White set to take the field in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII, it marks the second year in a row that WVU will be represented in the final game of the NFL season.
White, however, hopes to have better luck than Quinton Spain did a year ago, as Spain and the Cincinnati Bengals came up short in the NFL’s title game against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Macungie, Pennsylvania native ranked second on the Philadelphia Eagles roster in total tackles and was among the team leaders in pass breakups during the regular season. With that said, football fans are likely to see White’s jersey all over the field Sunday against the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Ahead of kickoff of Super Bowl LVII between White’s Eagles and the Chiefs, let’s look back at the top defensive performances in the history of the big game from former Mountaineers.
Chuck Howley, Super Bowl V
History was made in just the fifth iteration of the big game. And it was Mountaineer legend Chuck Howley who did it. Howley intercepted fellow NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas midway through the first quarter, and then intercepted another pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. Howley, who finished the game with two interceptions and a pair of tackles, was named the game’s MVP. He remains the only player in Super Bowl history to be named game MVP despite being on the losing team.
READ ALSO: Chuck Howley to be enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame, part of Class of 2023
Chuck Howley, Super Bowl VI
Howley was back in the Super Bowl a year later, and this time he exited with the NFL championship trophy. The Wheeling, WV native made the first big play of the game by recovering a fumble by NFL Hall of Famer Larry Csonka. Then, in the fourth quarter, Howley picked off another Hall of Famer, Bob Griese, and returned it 41 yards to set up a Dallas touchdown three plays later.
Alvoid Mays, Washington, Super Bowl XXVI
West Virginia players fared well in Super Bowls played against the Buffalo Bills during the early 1990s. Jeff Hostetler won the previous year’s NFL championship against Buffalo, leading the way for the New York Giants offense. A year later, at the end of the 1991 season, Alvoid Mays had a hand in helping Washington hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Mays recorded two tackles, and came up with a sack of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.
Darryl Talley, Super Bowl XXVIII
WVU Sports Hall of Famer Darryl Talley appeared in four Super Bowls in the early 1990s with the Bills. Never did he have a better individual performance than he did against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVIII. Talley recorded a game-high eight tackles, including a tackle for loss.
READ ALSO: Top Super Bowl performances by former Mountaineers
Bruce Irvin, Super Bowl XLIX
Irvin’s Seattle Seahawks were back in the title game looking to repeat as NFL champions. Unfortunately for them, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had other ideas. Irvin recorded two tackles, and a tackle for loss. He also sacked Brady once and was credited with a pair of quarterback hits.