Backyard Brawl: Pitt gives WVU the Mustache Ride


I don’t often write about college football because I don’t often watch college football. Part of it has to do with the fact I went to Carnegie Mellon, where we can calculate the exact velocity of a forward pass but can’t actually throw one. Our mascot was a freakin’ Scotty dog for crying out loud. What’s threatening about a Scotty dog? Get him riled and he’ll pee on your leg?

I do, however, enjoy watching the Backyard Brawl game between Pitt and WVU every year since I just plain don’t like West Virginia. They really should consider changing the sign you read when you leave Pennsylvania to say, “Welcome to West Virginia. Please set your watches back fifteen years.” Add the fact WVU was ranked #2 in the nation and favored to win by TWENTY-EIGHT points and I was so there rooting for the blue and gold, even if I didn’t attend the university and they’re coached by Dave Wannstedt.

So I’m sitting there, drinking an Iron, watching the game, and something strange, yet wonderful, begins to unfold before my beady little eyes. Pitt’s stuffing their offense! Shady McCoy is running all over their defense! Pat White goes out with an injury! We’re up by seven!

Then the screwjob begins. Crusty Old Ref #1 calls a personal foul on the prettiest swan dive this side of Greg Louganis. Crusty Old Ref #2 throws a flag for a phantom holding penalty. Not to be outdone, Crusty Old Ref #1 calls an even worse phantom holding penalty. Pat White returns. Pitt’s doomed!

Except they’re not! They man up, hold on a crucial fourth down, and run out the clock. A monumental upset of the second ranked team in the nation on their home turf. What a win. Congratulations to Wannastache and all his coaches and players on a thrilling, hard-fought, well-earned victory.

We all should’ve known WVU was screwed when their band spelled out “BCS” during the pregame show. The football gods will not stand for such insolence.

There hasn’t been much to cheer about for a long time when it comes to Pitt football. I’ll take 5 wins and beating #2 WVU any day. Had Pitt not lost its starting QB and star WR at the start of the season, who knows what could’ve happened this year. Do we actually have something to look forward to next year? One can only hope.

And, if nothing else, let’s hope next year Pitt gives WVU another Mustache Ride.