Narduzzi Is Ready to Keep the Brawl Alive

FILE - Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi watches the team during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Rhode Island, Sept. 24, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 45-24. Pittsburgh opens its season at home against Wofford on Sept. 2. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Pitt is just as heated about the Backyard Brawl as we are. Those players are in their locker room all this week talking about coming down to Morgantown and stealing one in front of our people. The difference is, the coach talk is a lot softer this time around. Suddenly, WVU is loaded with weapons and talent according to Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi. He spoke at a press conference yesterday to review the unexpected loss to Cincinnati at home and discuss the rivalry matchup this Saturday night.

The coach spoke of CJ Donaldson and Garrett Greene being the teams greatest assets, capped off by our returning experienced offensive line. Cincinnati ran for 216 yards against a vulnerable defense, and WVU has the skills to make Pitt respect the deep ball while continually gaining chunk yardage on the ground. While some areas have not improved since the last meeting of the teams, the offense seems to be gaining some cohesive traction.

Narduzzi also spoke of comparing this season to last year:

“We’ll learn more (than last year by) going down there. I think the kids will really learn the rivalries on the road and how hostile it is. Rivalries are rivalries. It’s nothing more than any other game for me. We know we’re just down the road. But it’s a football game that means a lot to a lot of people. Our Pitt fans are passionate. West Virginia fans are passionate. People want to see you play well in those games.”

When asked if he would like to see the Backyard Brawl continue, Narduzzi agreed. It is clear that this is a positive for both fan bases, and thankfully, the series continues for two more years before taking another hiatus. The Brawl resumes for a 4-game series in the 2029-2032 seasons. Maybe, the powers that be will see it’s continuation to be in everyone’s interest and keep this long-standing rivalry alive for the passionate fans on both sides of the state line. Or, maybe our teams will be conference mates again by then – you never know with college football.

Image by AP News

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Benjamin Gilbert
Benjamin Gilbert here - panhandle resident and enjoyer of Pitt losses. First and foremost, I am a lifelong West Virginia Mountaineer fan and do my best to inspire that passion in my beautiful wife and talented kids. Unfortunately, fandom doesn't always pay the bills. I have been writing for a decade and a half for various professions and multi-faceted franchises, so writing is what I do. Combining my skills with my passion for the WVU teams, I always seek to provide fair and honest takes on our path to finding the top of college athletics. Let's Go.