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