|The Backyard Brawl|
|1st Meeting||October 26, 1895|
|Last Meeting||November 25, 2011|
|Last Result||WVU: 21–20|
|Number of Meetings||104|
|All-Time Series||PITT: 61–40–3|
|Largest Victory||PITT: 53–0 (11/08/1904)|
|Current Streak||WVU: Won 3|
|Longest PITT Win Streak||15 (1929–46)|
|Longest WVU Win Streak||5 (1992–96)|
|Last Ten Games||WVU: 7–3|
|Men's Basketball History|
|First meeting||February 17, 1906|
|Last Meeting||February 16, 2012|
|Last Result||WVU: 66–48|
|Number of Meetings||184|
|All-Time Series||WVU: 96–88|
|Largest victory||WVU: 103–63 (2/14/1966)|
|Current Streak||WVU: Won 1|
|Longest PITT Win Streak||9 (1/17/1931-1/26/1935)|
|Longest WVU Win Streak||13 (1/8/1957-2/2/1963)|
|Last Ten Games||PITT: 6–4|
The Backyard Brawl was a football rivalry between the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and West Virginia University Mountaineers. The term "Backyard Brawl" has also been used to refer to college basketball games played annually or semi-annually and may also be used to refer to other athletic competitions between the two schools. It is a registered trademark for both universities, and refers to the close proximity of the two universities, separated by 75 miles (105 km) along Interstate 79.
The football rivalry is the 14th oldest in the United States and is typically shown on national television. In the past, the Backyard Brawl has been seen on ABC, CBS, ESPN, and ESPN2. Through the 104 games played between these two schools, Pitt leads the series 61–40–3. On Saturday, December 1, 2007 the 100th edition of the Backyard Brawl took place at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. The 4–7 Panthers upset the 2nd–ranked Mountaineers 13–9, knocking West Virginia out of the BCS National Championship Game. The game was one of the most important Backyard Brawls, one of the biggest upsets for the Pittsburgh Panthers, and one of the biggest upsets of the season, voted as the "Game of the Year" by ESPNU. The Mountaineers got revenge when the series returned to Morgantown in 2009, upsetting the No. 8 Panthers 19–16 on a game-ending field goal. The 2009 Backyard Brawl was the most watched game in the history of ESPN2.
The Backyard Brawl
|School||University of Pittsburgh||West Virginia University|
|Location||Pittsburgh, PA||Morgantown, WV|
|School Colors||Blue & Gold||Old Gold & Blue|
|Mascot||"Roc" the Panther||The Mountaineer|
|Football Stadium||Heinz Field||Mountaineer Field|
|Basketball Arena||Petersen Events Center||WVU Coliseum|
The football series was first played in 1895, and the game has historically been one of the more intense rivalries in the eastern United States. The rivalry between the two schools is due mainly to proximity. WVU's campus in Morgantown, West Virginia is only about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh (via Interstate 79), and the two schools often compete for the same recruits.
From 1962-2011, the series alternated between Pittsburgh and Morgantown on a yearly basis. Before that, the games were held in Pittsburgh on an almost regular basis, with Morgantown occasionally hosting the game. At one point, Pittsburgh hosted the game 11 years in a row (1919–29) and also hosted eight straight contests between 1938–48. (There were no matchups from 1940–42.) In contrast, the most consecutive games West Virginia has hosted were four in a row from 1895–1901, with one of those games held in Fairmont, West Virginia, now the home to Fairmont State University, and one in Wheeling, West Virginia. The most consecutive games played in Morgantown, three, were held from 1932–34.
West Virginia started out the series leading, 5–1. Pittsburgh won four games in a row from 1904–08 (there was no game played in 1905) to tie the series at 5–5. In 1909, the teams played to a 0–0 tie, making the series 5–5–1. The following year, Pittsburgh won 38–0, taking a 6–5–1 lead in the series, and has led ever since. Since the series began interchanging annually between Morgantown and Pittsburgh in 1963, the Mountaineers have held a 25–22–2 advantage over the Panthers.
On November 25, 2004, the Backyard Brawl series saw its 97th game, surpassing the 96–game Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry as Pittsburgh's most–played rivalry game. Pittsburgh celebrated the event with a 16–13 win at Heinz Field.
The Mountaineers and the Panthers wore Nike Pro Combat System of Dress, uniforms designed to pay respect to Pittsburgh's steel industry and West Virginia's coal mining industry, for the 2010 Backyard Brawl. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, West Virginia wore a shade of white "that looks as if it has a fine layer of dust on the jersey" and has accents in university gold that "references the canaries used long ago to test toxicity in mines." The helmet has a thin yellow line, designed to look like "the beam of light emitted by a miner's headlamp." Meanwhile Pitt wore smoky college navy and black jerseys and pants with metallic team gold numerals "to represent the brilliant glow of a blast furnace," according to a Nike website, and matching helmets with a gold stripe and logo "evocative of steel I-beams" and resembling a hard hat. West Virginia won the game in Pittsburgh 35–10.
In 2011, the rivalry took on a new look with the high powered offenses of Todd Graham and Dana Holgorsen coming to Pittsburgh and West Virginia, respectively. Holgorsen, formerly the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, and Graham, formerly the head coach for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, had offenses ranked 6th and 8th, respectively, in the nation in the 2010 season. West Virginia defeated Pittsburgh 21–20, in what turned out to be Graham's only Backyard Brawl due to his departure for Arizona State University in the offseason. For the 2012 season, West Virginia moved to the Big 12 Conference while Pitt will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013. The 2012 season was the first time the two teams did not meet since 1942.
Beginning in 2014, the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida will match an ACC team and a Big 12 team. Thus, it will be possible for the teams to meet in that bowl, or also in a bowl that is part of the College Football Playoff.
On July 3, 2013, the Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph reported that WVU athletic director Oliver Luck commented on possibly reviving the Backyard Brawl: "We've talked to Pitt, but they've got a lot going on, because they're trying to get Penn State back on their schedule...they're trying to figure out when they can squeeze us in. Their AD and I just talked last week, so we're trying to get that set up. It's all about dates. I think it will get done, but it's all a matter of when." On June 18, 2014, ESPN quoted Luck: "At some point we’ll get Pitt back on the schedule, What I’m trying to do with our nonconference games is stay as regional as possible and rekindle some of our historical rivalries...I see [Pitt athletic director] Steve Pederson every now and then at various conventions. And we’ve had some discussions about that. We just haven’t been able to really eyeball the proper time to get it going again." However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in May 2014: "Pederson said he has not had any substantive discussions with Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck about reviving the Backyard Brawl."
The location of the Backyard Brawl has varied much throughout its history. The very first football game took place in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1895. The next meeting, in 1898, was held in Fairmont, a short distance south of Morgantown. The third and fourth contests were held in Morgantown. The year 1902 marked the first time the game was held in Pittsburgh, at Exposition Park, the North Shore home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. 1910 was the first time the Backyard Brawl was held on the Pittsburgh campus, at brand-new Forbes Field. The series was held here for eight of the next nine years, until the opening of Pitt Stadium in 1925 on the opposite end of the University of Pittsburgh campus. Pitt Stadium hosted 5 straight games, until in 1930, the Backyard Brawl found itself at yet another new location, Mountaineer Field, on the campus of West Virginia University, which had opened in 1924. Another change in location occurred in 1981, when the game was played at a new Mountaineer Field in Morgantown. In 1998 and 2000, the game was played at Three Rivers Stadium. The most recent change took place in 2002, when the Backyard Brawl was played for the first time at Heinz Field, the new, full-time home of the Panthers, a year after it was opened.
Football game results
Pittsburgh victories shaded in ██ blue. West Virginia victories are shaded ██ gold. 
|#||Date||Site||Winning team||Losing team||TV||Series|
|1||October 26, 1895||Wheeling, West Virginia||West Virginia||8||Pittsburgh||0||WVU 1–0|
|2||November 4, 1898||Fairmont, West Virginia||West Virginia||6||Pittsburgh||0||WVU 2–0|
|3||October 6, 1900||Morgantown||West Virginia||6||Pittsburgh||5||WVU 3–0|
|4||October 5, 1901||Morgantown||Pittsburgh||12||West Virginia||0||WVU 3–1|
|5||October 22, 1902||Exposition Park||West Virginia||23||Pittsburgh||6||WVU 4–1|
|6||October 3, 1903||Morgantown||West Virginia||24||Pittsburgh||6||WVU 5–1|
|7||November 8, 1904||Exposition Park||Pittsburgh||53||West Virginia||0||WVU 5–2|
|8||November 10, 1906||Exposition Park||Pittsburgh||17||West Virginia||0||WVU 5–3|
|9||November 9, 1907||Exposition Park||Pittsburgh||10||West Virginia||0||WVU 5–4|
|10||November 7, 1908||Exposition Park||Pittsburgh||11||West Virginia||0||Tied 5–5|
|11||November 6, 1909||Morgantown||West Virginia||0||Pittsburgh||0||Tied 5–5–1|
|12||November 5, 1910||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||38||West Virginia||0||PITT 6–5–1|
|13||October 11, 1913||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||40||West Virginia||0||PITT 7–5–1|
|14||September 29, 1917||Morgantown||Pittsburgh||14||West Virginia||9||PITT 8–5–1|
|15||October 11, 1919||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||26||West Virginia||0||PITT 9–5–1|
|16||October 9, 1920||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||34||West Virginia||13||PITT 10–5–1|
|17||October 8, 1921||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||21||West Virginia||13||PITT 11–5–1|
|18||October 14, 1922||Forbes Field||West Virginia||9||Pittsburgh||6||PITT 11–6–1|
|19||October 13, 1923||Forbes Field||West Virginia||13||Pittsburgh||7||PITT 11–7–1|
|20||October 11, 1924||Forbes Field||Pittsburgh||14||West Virginia||7||PITT 12–7–1|
|21||October 10, 1925||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||15||West Virginia||7||PITT 13–7–1|
|22||November 6, 1926||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||17||West Virginia||7||PITT 14–7–1|
|23||October 8, 1927||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||40||West Virginia||0||PITT 15–7–1|
|24||October 13, 1928||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||9||Pittsburgh||6||PITT 15–8–1|
|25||October 8, 1929||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||27||West Virginia||7||PITT 16–8–1|
|26||October 4, 1930||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||16||West Virginia||0||PITT 17–8–1|
|27||October 10, 1931||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||34||West Virginia||0||PITT 18–8–1|
|28||October 1, 1932||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||40||West Virginia||0||PITT 19–8–1|
|29||October 7, 1933||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||21||West Virginia||0||PITT 20–8–1|
|30||October 6, 1934||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||27||West Virginia||6||PITT 21–8–1|
|31||October 12, 1935||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||24||West Virginia||6||PITT 22–8–1|
|32||October 3, 1936||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||34||West Virginia||0||PITT 23–8–1|
|33||October 2, 1937||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||20||West Virginia||0||PITT 24–8–1|
|34||September 24, 1938||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||19||West Virginia||0||PITT 25–8–1|
|35||October 7, 1939||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||20||West Virginia||0||PITT 26–8–1|
|36||October 9, 1943||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||20||West Virginia||0||PITT 27–8–1|
|37||September 23, 1944||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||26||West Virginia||13||PITT 28–8–1|
|38||September 29, 1945||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||30||West Virginia||0||PITT 29–8–1|
|39||September 28, 1946||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||33||West Virginia||7||PITT 30–8–1|
|40||November 29, 1947||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||17||Pittsburgh||2||PITT 30–9–1|
|41||October 9, 1948||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||16||West Virginia||6||PITT 31–9–1|
|42||October 8, 1949||Mountaineer Field||# 19 Pittsburgh||20||West Virginia||7||PITT 32–9–1|
|43||November 4, 1950||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||21||West Virginia||7||PITT 33–9–1|
|44||November 17, 1951||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||32||West Virginia||12||PITT 34–9–1|
|45||October 25, 1952||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||16||#18 Pittsburgh||0||PITT 34–10–1|
|46||September 26, 1953||Pitt Stadium||#16 West Virginia||17||#17 Pittsburgh||7||PITT 34–11–1|
|47||October 30, 1954||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||13||#7 West Virginia||10||PITT 35–11–1|
|48||November 12, 1955||Pitt Stadium||#17 Pittsburgh||26||#6 West Virginia||7||PITT 36–11–1|
|49||September 22, 1956||Mountaineer Field||#10 Pittsburgh||14||West Virginia||13||PITT 37–11–1|
|50||November 9, 1957||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||7||Pittsburgh||6||PITT 37–12–1|
|51||October 18, 1958||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||15||West Virginia||8||PITT 38–12–1|
|52||October 17, 1959||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||23||#20 Pittsburgh||15||PITT 38–13–1|
|53||October 15, 1960||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||42||West Virginia||0||PITT 39–13–1|
|54||October 14, 1961||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||20||Pittsburgh||6||PITT 39–14–1|
|55||October 13, 1962||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||15||Pittsburgh||8||PITT 39–15–1|
|56||October 19, 1963||Mountaineer Field||#3 Pittsburgh||13||West Virginia||10||CBS||PITT 40–15–1|
|57||October 10, 1964||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||14||West Virginia||0||PITT 41–15–1|
|58||October 2, 1965||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||63||Pittsburgh||48||PITT 41–16–1|
|59||October 8, 1966||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||17||West Virginia||14||PITT 42–16–1|
|60||October 7, 1967||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||15||Pittsburgh||0||PITT 42–17–1|
|61||September 28, 1968||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||38||Pittsburgh||15||PITT 42–18–1|
|62||October 25, 1969||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||49||Pittsburgh||18||PITT 42–19–1|
|63||October 17, 1970||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||36||West Virginia||35||PITT 43–19–1|
|64||October 2, 1971||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||20||Pittsburgh||9||PITT 43–20–1|
|65||November 4, 1972||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||38||Pittsburgh||20||PITT 43–21–1|
|66||October 13, 1973||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||35||West Virginia||7||PITT 44–21–1|
|67||October 12, 1974||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||31||West Virginia||14||PITT 45–21–1|
|68||November 8, 1975||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||17||#20 Pittsburgh||14||ABC||PITT 45–22–1|
|69||November 13, 1976||Pitt Stadium||#1 Pittsburgh||24||West Virginia||16||ABC||PITT 46–22–1|
|70||November 5, 1977||Mountaineer Field||#12 Pittsburgh||44||West Virginia||3||PITT 47–22–1|
|71||November 11, 1978||Pitt Stadium||#20 Pittsburgh||52||West Virginia||7||PITT 48–22–1|
|72||November 10, 1979||Mountaineer Field||#12 Pittsburgh||24||West Virginia||17||PITT 49–22–1|
|73||October 18, 1980||Pitt Stadium||#11 Pittsburgh||42||West Virginia||14||PITT 50–22–1|
|74||October 10, 1981||Mountaineer Field*||#4 Pittsburgh||17||West Virginia||0||PITT 51–22–1|
|75||October 2, 1982||Pitt Stadium||#2 Pittsburgh||16||#14 West Virginia||13||ABC||PITT 52–22–1|
|76||October 1, 1983||Mountaineer Field||#7 West Virginia||24||Pittsburgh||21||CBS||PITT 52–23–1|
|77||September 29, 1984||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||28||Pittsburgh||10||PITT 52–24–1|
|78||September 28, 1985||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||10||Pittsburgh||10||PITT 52–24–2|
|79||September 27, 1986||Pitt Stadium||Pittsburgh||48||West Virginia||16||PITT 53–24–2|
|80||September 26, 1987||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||6||West Virginia||3||PITT 54–24–2|
|81||September 24, 1988||Pitt Stadium||#12 West Virginia||31||Pittsburgh||10||PITT 54–25–2|
|82||September 30, 1989||Mountaineer Field||#9 West Virginia||31||#10 Pittsburgh||31||ESPN||PITT 54–25–3|
|83||September 29, 1990||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||38||Pittsburgh||24||PITT 54–26–3|
|84||August 31, 1991||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||34||West Virginia||3||ESPN||PITT 55–26–3|
|85||September 12, 1992||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||44||Pittsburgh||6||PITT 55–27–3|
|86||October 23, 1993||Mountaineer Field||#18 West Virginia||42||Pittsburgh||21||PITT 55–28–3|
|87||October 15, 1994||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||47||Pittsburgh||41||PITT 55–29–3|
|88||November 24, 1995||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||21||Pittsburgh||0||ESPN||PITT 55–30–3|
|89||August 31, 1996||Pitt Stadium||West Virginia||34||Pittsburgh||0||ESPN||PITT 55–31–3|
|90||November 28, 1997||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||41||West Virginia||38||CBS||PITT 56–31–3|
|91||November 27, 1998||Three Rivers Stadium||West Virginia||52||Pittsburgh||14||CBS||PITT 56–32–3|
|92||November 27, 1999||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||52||Pittsburgh||21||ESPN||PITT 56–33–3|
|93||November 24, 2000||Three Rivers Stadium||Pittsburgh||38||West Virginia||28||CBS||PITT 57–33–3|
|94||November 24, 2001||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||23||West Virginia||17||ESPN||PITT 58–33–3|
|95||November 30, 2002||Heinz Field||#24 West Virginia||24||#17 Pittsburgh||17||ABC||PITT 58–34–3|
|96||November 15, 2003||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||52||#16 Pittsburgh||31||ESPN2||PITT 58–35–3|
|97||November 25, 2004||Heinz Field||Pittsburgh||16||#21 West Virginia||13||ESPN||PITT 59–35–3|
|98||November 24, 2005||Mountaineer Field||#12 West Virginia||45||Pittsburgh||13||ESPN||PITT 59–36–3|
|99||November 16, 2006||Heinz Field||#8 West Virginia||45||Pittsburgh||27||ESPN||PITT 59–37–3|
|100||December 1, 2007||Mountaineer Field||Pittsburgh||13||#2 West Virginia||9||ESPN||PITT 60–37–3|
|101||November 28, 2008||Heinz Field||Pittsburgh||19||West Virginia||15||ABC||PITT 61–37–3|
|102||November 27, 2009||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||19||#8 Pittsburgh||16||ESPN2||PITT 61–38–3|
|103||November 26, 2010||Heinz Field||West Virginia||35||Pittsburgh||10||ABC||PITT 61–39–3|
|104||November 25, 2011||Mountaineer Field||West Virginia||21||Pittsburgh||20||ESPN||PITT 61–40–3|
The basketball rivalry between the two schools began on February 17, 1905. The teams began competing annually since 1918, and have played each other at least once every season since then. Pitt began playing basketball in the Big East Conference in 1982–83, with the Mountaineers joining in 1995–96. The basketball rivalry has heated up over the last several years as each team has been among the best in the country and the games have taken on added significance. On February 9, 2006, for the first time in the history of the series, in the 169th edition, Pitt and WVU were both nationally ranked as they squared off in Pitt's Petersen Events Center. Pitt won, but a few weeks later, the two ranked teams played at WVU Coliseum with the Mountaineers winning. In the 2008–09 season, the Panthers swept both games during the regular season and came into the tournament ranked No. 2, but were upset by the Mountaineers in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
During a February 2010 game when Pittsburgh visited West Virginia, several times during the course of the game, West Virginia fans threw objects at the Pittsburgh team. A Pittsburgh assistant coach was injured when an object was thrown at him. The actions received widespread attention. During the second half of the game, coach Bob Huggins used a microphone to address the fans. West Virginia University President Jim Clements issued an apology to the University of Pittsburgh community. Additionally, West Virginia vowed to address security, as the incident closing followed similar occurrences in games against Syracuse and Ohio State. This game was followed with a rematch nine days later in Pittsburgh, and while there were no off-court incidents, the game proved to be one of the most memorable in the history of the series as the 25th ranked Panthers upset the fourth ranked Mountaineers 98–95 in the first triple overtime basketball game to be played between the two schools.
The 2011–12 season marked the end of the Brawl within Big East conference play. Pitt and WVU traded road wins, with Pitt winning in Morgantown 72–66, and WVU winning at the Petersen Events Center for only the second time ever 66–48. The future of the rivalry is in question as WVU will play in the Big 12 in 2012–13 and Pitt moved to the ACC the following year.
In women's basketball, West Virginia leads the modern series, begun in 1975, 25–18.
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- 100th Backyard Brawl Voted "Game of the Year" by ESPNU Fans
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- Gorman, Kevin (September 2, 2010). "Pitt-WVU Backyard Brawl to feature Nike Pro Combat uniforms". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "2010 NCAA Division I-A College Football Team Statistics Leaders for Total". ESPN College Football. ESPN. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- Bogaczyk, Jack (2011-11-21). "Does Backyard Brawl have a future?". Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, WV). Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Huffman, Cam (July 3, 2013). "WVU, VT to renew football series; Rivals will trade home games in 2021, 2022". Bluefield Daily Herald. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
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- Greg Hotchkiss, 2008–2009 Pitt Men's Basketball Media Guide, University of Pittsburgh Athletic Media Relations Office, pg. 178, accessdate-2008-12-02
- Rodgers, Ann (2010-02-06). "West Virginia hastens to improve security at basketball games". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Smizik, Bob (2010-02-13). "Hail to Pitt fans!". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Fittipaldo, Ray (2010-02-13). "Pitt defeats West Virginia, 98–95, in triple overtime". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Associated Press (2010-02-12). "Pitt avenges Morgantown loss, fights off West Virginia in three OTs". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-02-13.