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Pitt, WVU to renew Backyard Brawl in 2022

Pittsburgh and West Virginia will resume their long-standing rivalry starting in 2022, Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes announced Thursday.

The Panthers will play their most-played opponent again. Pitt and West Virginia will begin a four-game series in 2022 to renew the Backyard Brawl, Pitt AD Scott Barnes announced Thursday. 

"Pitt and West Virginia have a long and storied rivalry that dates back to the 19th century," Barnes said. "I’ve learned there is a lot of passion surrounding this game and we’re pleased to be able to rekindle that history."

The teams will play in Pittsburgh Sept. 17, 2022 and Sept. 14, 2024. West Virginia will host on Sept. 16, 2023 and Sept. 13, 2025. 

The Panthers and Mountaineers have played 104 times, dating back to 1895. Pitt leads the all-time series 61-40-3

Pitt and West Virginia last played in 2011, before the Mountaineers departed for the Big 12 in 2012. West Virginia won that game 21-20 as Tino Sunseri was sacked 10 times in Morgantown. 

West Virginia won the last three games between the teams and seven of the last 10 contests. One of Pitt's three wins, of course, was a 13-9 triumph in Morgantown over the then-No. 2-ranked Mountaineers.

Per the release, the Panthers also look to expand on their four games already scheduled with Penn State that starts next season. 

"We also continue to have productive conversations with Penn State," Barnes said. "Although Penn State’s scheduling opportunities are limited in the early part of the 2020s, we are hopeful we will be able to expand upon our current four-year agreement that begins next year."

Penn State is the Panthers second most-played rivalry, with the teams meeting 96 times going back to 1893. 2016's game will mark the first time the Panthers and Nittany Lions meet since Pitt beat Penn State 12-0 Sept. 16, 2000.

If Pitt is able to add more meetings between itself and Penn State, it would ensure continuity of the program's two longest-standing rivalries concurrently. 

"An unfortunate byproduct of conference realignment has been the interruption of numerous traditional rivalries across the country," Barnes said. "Everyone wins when two great series like Pitt-Penn State and Pitt-West Virginia are renewed, especially the student-athletes and fans of college football."

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