Pitt and WVU to meet in another Backyard Brawl

For the second week in a row, Pittsburgh will be playing before a national TV audience when they travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia in a matchup that could wind up being the deciding factor for both a Big East Championship and BCS berth at season's end.

West Virginia (5-4,3-1) is riding a four-game winning streak that includes a blowout 28-7 home win over Virginia Tech and most recently a 35-28 win over Boston College. WVU also had a last-second 22-20 loss to Miami in the Orange Bowl earlier this season. Pitt also boasts a four-game streak and is coming off a narrow 31-28 victory over Virginia Tech. The Panthers have yet to play Miami.

The Mountaineers have one of the biggest home field advantages in the country. The loud and rowdy crowds of Mountaineer Field make it a tough place for anyone to escape from with a victory. West Virginia runs a spread offense that has given the Panthers defense a lot of problems over the years, including this year in their loss to Toledo.

The Mountaineer offense is led by senior RB Quincy Wilson, who is one of the best in the nation. He is a powerful runner known for his ability to break tackles. Wilson has rushed for 1,018 yards on 217 carries and 8 TD's. He averages 4.7 yards per carry. Junior Kay-Jay Harris is a talented backup who has rushed for 344 yards on 62 carries and 3 TD's. Harris is averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Junior Rasheed Marshall, a Pittsburgh native, will get the start at quarterback after sitting out last week with a concussion. Marshall's 64 of 134 for 1,064 yards and 9 TD's this season in the air. He's known for his rushing skills and has rushed for 184 yards on 68 carries and 2 TD's.

Marshall's favorite receiving target is sophomore Chris Henry. Henry has outstanding speed and at 6-4, 190 pounds, he is a tough matchup for any cornerback. Henry has 23 catches for 60-2 yards and 7 TD's and averages an amazing 26.2 yards per catch.

On defense, WVU is led by three outstanding seniors. Linebacker Grant Wiley is the leader and one of the best at his position in the entire country. Safety Brian King is a talented playmaker who has given the Panthers fits over the years. Cornerback Lance Frazier is known for his strong cover skills.

Also in the secondary is sophomore cornerback Adam Jones, a speedy athlete who is quickly making a name for himself. He had a 47-yard interception return and an 84-yard kickoff return against Boston College last week.

Pitt will look to win its 3rd game in 4 years against WVU and its second in a row in Morgantown. Pitt leads the overall series 58-34-3 with a 20-12-3 record playing at West Virginia. This longtime traditional rivalry began in 1895. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

Brian Gold

Panther More Top Stories