Game preview- The Backyard Brawl


Are you ready?

I said, ARE YOU READY!?!?!?!?

Then, for the 60,000 in attendance, and the millions watching around the world on ESPN and….


There are exceptions to just about every rule. One of the rules of the network is to bleep out any bad words. However, this is #hatepitt week, and as such, we are making an exception. Hell, there’s enough dirty language plastered on this site to make HBO do a double-take.

Anyway, as we have done all season (and will continue to do so for the USF game and the subsequent bowl WVU goes to), we are bringing you a “group preview” of the game, complete with funny Holgs picture from Jeremy (@SlangBus.)

To kick things off, we have a guest writer/picker. Caleb Wygal (@WVUPros), of WVU pros & Smoking Musket, lent his expertise this week for us. We thank Caleb for his contribution, and after you get done reading our preview, head on over to his site.

"After helping the Mountaineers out in the chase for a Big East title, and BCS berth, by defeating Louisville in their last game on Nov. 12, a rested Panthers team faces a rested Mountaineers team. Much was made about the rivalry between WVU HC Dana Holgorsen and sPitt head coach Todd Graham.Holgorsen downplayed the rivalry earlier this week saying that it was “completely irrelevant to this game.” Be that as it may, this is still the Backyard Brawl, and you know the two 1st year head coaches have to know this is a big game for both schools. A WVU win would keep the Mountaineers in the chase for a BE Championship, and a Pitt win would, well, get them bowl eligible. This is also the last time this game could be played in the foreseeable future.The Mountaineers pulled off a close victory against Cincinnati in their last game, and have had two weeks off to prepare for the Brawl, as has Pitt. The much-hyped and advertised “High-Octane” offense that Graham was supposed to install at Pitt has led them to average a whopping 25.6 points per game while giving up 22.8. There have been games where the “High Octane” offense has had the horsepower of a moped (See: 120 yards of total offense against Utah).The Mountaineers have shown flashes of what Dana Holgorsen’s offense could be. Geno Smith is on his way to breaking some of Marc Bulger’s records for a single season, possibly in this game. Sometimes the offense seems to stagnate behind an inexperienced offensive line. The Mountaineers average nearly 37 points per game while allowing other teams to score 26.8.Sometimes the Mountaineer offense doesn’t wake up until the second half, and the team can’t seem to put two good halves together. Something tells me this is the game where the offense puts it together, the defense makes some plays, the special teams doesn’t screwup too much, and this Backyard Brawl could be over by the 3rd quarter.Pitt 20- WVU 52"

Jeremy (@SlangBus)

"Every year I look forward to the little cocoon of hate that is the Pitt game. It comes from the fact that everything about the school is fake. WVU hides nothing. Are we drunks? Yes. Do we get a little too fired up about wins, then light things on fire? Yes. But we put it out front, you know going in what you’re walking into. At least we care. Pitt tries to be Notre Dame, ”Look at our class, look at these outstanding young student athletes”. Then Jabaal Sheard tosses a guy through a window, then 4,000 fans show up to a game, then you don’t win a national title, then you just look like a bunch of hypocrites. This might be the last Backyard Brawl for a awhile, but at least we can take solace in knowing Pitt will still suck long into the future. 48-31"

Dwayne (@ImTheSportsDude)

See his preview here. He’s also celebrating his 1 year tenure with the site. Congratulations to him, and thanks for not suing us! HAHA!

Jerry (@TheDeuceWVU)

"When West Virginia and Pitt meet for the 104th edition of the Backyard Brawl, there will be several storylines to unfold at Milan Puskar Stadium. Can WVU keep it’s BCS and Big East title hopes alive? Can Gino Smith and Stedman Bailey make history? Can the Mountaineer defensive line stop the Pitt run game? Can the Pitt secondary contain the Mountaineer receivers? With conference moves by both schools, will this be the last brawl for many years?This is also senior night. The last game at home for guys like Irvin, Miller, Goode, Starks, and Tandy.Pitt has changed it’s offense from a “high octane” approach to a run game with a slower tempo from earlier this season. Will the possibility of losing coaches effect the gameplan and preparation?It’s the brawl and it doesn’t matter. WVU is playing for everything these next 2 weeks and they will take care of business.Records fall on this night and WVU rolls.WVU 37Pitt 23Next: USF"

Jim (@hailWV, @WVUJim)

"The Backyard Brawl is something I mark my calendar for as soon as I get wind of the day it will be played. I’ve hated Pitt ever since I was old enough to know that they were the enemy. For the past 4 years, this game has been personal for me… not only because of the game in December of 2007, but for other reasons that I will not get into on here. That’s not how works.Anyway, both teams claimed a “share” of the Big Least Championship last year under some coaches that were “conservative minded” when it came to playcalling, and subsequently shown the door; Bill “Gomer” Stewart and Dave “Pornstache” Wannstedt. Enter Dana Holgorsen via “Coach In Waiting”, which we all didn’t pan out because Stew & co. were doing behind-the-scenes misdeeds with newspaper reporters; and “Cheatin’ Todd” Graham. Holgorsen brought his buddies to WVU, Graham rehashed Rich Rod’s old staff at Pitt. I have a feeling Graham will have to be looking for new assistant coaches before long.Anyway, Sunseri was forced to adapt to this “High Octane” offense that Graham talks about, and well, like Caleb said, it’s had the horsepower of a moped. Ray Graham, perhaps their best player, is out.On WVU’s side of the ball, Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Dustin Garrison… they will be on their A game, and will be looking to whip Pitt’s ass 3 years in a row.This could be the last Backyard Brawl for a while due to the Eers heading for the Big 12, and Pitt heading for the Always a Crappy Conference. Having said that, I’ll be there, not in my seat, and probably wasted out of my mind. Hopefully I can remember this last Backyard Brawl (for a while.)WVU- 38Pitt- 21"

Finally, some pre-game music to get you pumped up!