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Bet on NCAAFThe day after Thanksgiving may bring frenzy to shopping centers around the nation, but it will also bring a different kind of frenzy in West Virginia.  The 104th annual Backyard Brawl comes to Morgantown on November 25th when the Pittsburgh Panthers take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in this Big East battle.  Only 75 miles of Interstate 79 separate these two great schools adding intensity to this heated rivalry.  Both teams have a few things in common with each other; chiefly among the similarities they both have first year head coaches with Todd Graham manning the helm in Pittsburgh and Dana Holgorsen leading the Mountaineers.  The last time this game was held in Morgantown in 2009, the Mountaineers beat Pitt 19-16 on a last second 43-yard FG by Tyler Bitancurt.  Pitt holds the advantage in the overall series however at 61 wins, 39 losses, and 3 ties.

Pittsburgh comes in with a 5-5 record and a 3-2 record in the Big East Conference.  They’ve gone 1-1 against ranked opponents this season with a win over #16 South Florida and a loss against the #23 Cincinnati Bearcats.  The offense and defense of the Panthers are not exactly stellar but they get the job done.  The Panthers average 25.6 points per game and their opponents are held to 22.8 points per game.  The Panthers offensive attack is lead by junior QB Tino Sunseri (2,037 passing yards – 63.7 completion pct. – 125.3 rating – 9 TD / 8 INT).  The receiving core is led by sophomore WR Devin Street (39 catches – 572 yards – 2 TD) and the rushing attack is led by junior Ray Graham (958 rushing yards – 5.8 yards per carry – 9 TD).

West Virginia holds court with a 7-3 record and an identical 3-2 record in the Big East Conference.  The Mountaineers also hold a 1-1 record against ranked opponents this year.  They hold a win over #23 Cincinnati and a loss against #2 LSU.  The Mountaineers are offense personified with junior powerhouse QB Geno Smith (3,497 passing yards – 64.5 completion pct. – 151.5 rating – 24 TD / 5 INT) leading the West Virginia attack.  WR’s Tavon Austin (72 catches – 907 yards – 4 TD) and Stedman Bailey (57 catches – 1,037 yards – 10 TD’s) place opposing safeties and DB’s on notice.  The rushing attack is led by freshman Dustin Garrison (600 rushing yards – 5.5 yards per carry – 5 TD’s).



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