One of the most anticipated matchups and biggest rivalries in college sports could be be resumed in the not so distant future. The WVU/Pitt rivalry had one of the longest rivalry streaks come to an end in 2012 when the teams failed to meet for the first time since 1942.
The Brawl was last played in 2011, and new WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons told MetroNews Sportsline recently that he plans to reach out to Pitt once they appoint a new athletic director of their own.
Lyons said that the Backyard Brawl is on his list of things to work on in the near future. He hopes to resume the series by 2023 but nothing has been agreed upon by the athletic departments. One of the complications on resuming the series is due to the Mountaineers already having a full out of conference slate for the next few seasons. Lyons is hoping to quickly develop a relationship with the next Pitt AD.
The Backyard Brawl has featured some of the best moments in both programs histories. In 2007 the Panthers upset WVU 13-9 to knock them out of the National Championship Game but the Mountaineers have gotten revenge since then by winning 3 of the last 4 games.
One of the greatest moments in the rivalries’ history came in 1994 when WVU quarterback Chad Johnston threw a 60 yard touchdown pass to Zach Abraham to secure the Mountaineers a 47-41 win with 15 seconds to go. This is worth revisiting in a video posted on YouTube by James Schrumpf:
Pat White was also a thorn in Pittsburgh’s side while quarterbacking the Mountaineers. White became only the 9th player in college football history to run and pass for over 200 yards in the same game in 2006. Also in that game, Steve Slaton and White became the third tandem in NCAA history to each rush for 200 yards in a single game. Maybe you have forgotten the incredible display White and Slaton put on in the second half after a first half dog fight. Lets go back again, courtesy of YouTube as Tony Caridi called it:
The history is there for this series to resume without any love lost from either program. Considering the recruiting battles the school’s have been through the past few seasons, it would add to the rivalries context.
Pitt leads the all-time series with a 61-40-3 record against their border state rivals.