West Virginia (7-3, 3-2 Big East) and Pitt (6-4, 4-1 Big East) will meet for the 103rd time this Friday afternoon in what is known as the “backyard brawl”. This rivalry game was given its nickname in part because of the two schools proximity to one another (about 75 miles apart). Other reasons for the nickname include recruiting (both schools recruit heavily in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania), mascots (Mountaineers like to hunt big game such as Panthers and likewise big game, if hungry enough, would eat a Mountaineer), and school colors (both schools have a blue and gold thing going on).
This seaon’s “brawl” will be just as intriguing as the previous 102 (I’ve only seen about 23 total) before it because once again there are major Big East Championship implications involved in this game. If Pitt wins this week and then goes on to beat Cincinatti next week they’ll be your 2010 Big East Champs cut and dry. Now, if West Virginia wins, then goes on to beat Rutgers, and Connecticut loses to either South Florida or Cincinnati, then West Virginia will be your 2010 Big East Champs. So, let’s just say that players on both teams want that Big East title as much as they want to beat their rival. Oh, and keep in mind that the Big East still has a BCS bid and these two schools. like Connecticut, would love nothing more than to play in the Orange Bowl this January.
Overall, I think this one will be a rather low scoring contest with the winning team, which I refuse to predict, scoring no more than 17 points. Both teams bring in outstanding defenses that from what I’ve seen are built on two different qualities. West Virginia’s is built primarily on speed and thus the Mountaineers use their signature 3-3-5 alignment. Pitt’s is built primarily on strength and therefore the Panthers use the ole
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.