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West Virginia and Pittsburgh football have played against each other a total of 104 times, dating back to their first meeting on October 26, 1985. However, tonight’s game between the Mountaineers and Panthers will mark their first since 2011.
After 11 years, the Backyard Brawl is back.
This year’s iteration of the cross-state matchup does not include any players who have played in the historic game before. But that doesn’t mean that the beef isn’t real.
In fact, the Pittsburgh and West Virginia rivalry comes with a significant spotlight.
West Virginia And Pittsburgh Kickoff At 7 PM EST
Not only does it mark the the first time that the game is being played in more than a decade, it is the P5 vs. P5 game of Week 1 (or Week 2, depending on who you ask) in primetime on a Thursday. In addition, it pits two former USC quarterbacks against one another in J.T. Daniels and Kedon Slovis.
The Panthers currently lead the series 60-40-3, but the Mountaineers believe that this is the year that head coach Neal Brown’s team starts to turn the corner back to national relevance. If not, his job is very much in danger.
All of that goes to say that tonight’s game is going to be intense.
Prior to taking the field against Pittsburgh, a group of West Virginia players were asked to say something nice about their rivals. They could not.
Of the four players asked, only one had something nice to say. And it was less of a compliment or something nice than it was a factual statement.
Defensive lineman Dante Stills kicked things off. With a big smile on his face, he had nothing nice to say. He does not like Pitt.
Cornerback Charles Woods went next. He said that the only nice thing he has to say is that the Panthers play in an NFL stadium. Again, not really a nice thing, but a fact.
Wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton had nothing. Neither did offensive lineman Zach Frazier.
See for yourselves…
Needless to say, the bad blood is very real. Even though the 250 players on both sidelines were about 10 years old when their two teams last met, they know the history and they know the hate.
Tonight is going to be a brawl— literally.