(Friday, November 27th)
Final Score: West Virginia 19, (8) Pittsburgh 16
Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) - Tyler Bitancurt made a game-winning 43-yard field goal as time expired, and West Virginia got some revenge against No. 8 Pittsburgh in a 19-16 victory in the Backyard Brawl.
Bitancurt made four field goals, while Noel Devine ran for 134 yards and a score for the Mountaineers (8-3, 4-2 Big East), who in 2007 were ranked second when they were upset by Pitt to see their national title game hopes disappear.
Two years later, West Virginia paid its rival back, as the Panthers (9-2, 5-1) suffered their first Big East loss and are now looking up in the conference standings.
Cincinnati, which topped Illinois earlier Friday to stay undefeated, is 6-0 in the conference and can clinch the title with a win at Pittsburgh on December 5.
Bitancurt's kick came nearly three minutes after Pitt had rallied to tie the contest. The Panthers trailed by 10 shortly into the fourth quarter, but got a 36-yard field goal from Dan Hutchins with 7:37 to play to get within 16-9.
West Virginia had to punt on its next series, and Pitt took over at its own 25 with just over four minutes to play. Quarterback Bill Stull led the Panthers downfield in just three plays, first completing a 15-yard pass to Jonathan Baldwin before finding Mike Shanahan for 10.
Stull then aired out a pass for an open Baldwin for a 50-yard touchdown, as Pittsburgh evened the game.
But with 2:54 on the clock, West Virginia had plenty of time to move into field goal position. The Mountaineers faced a 3rd-and-10 at the Pitt 45 before quarterback Jarrett Brown was stopped a yard short of the first down. But Ryan Clarke picked up the necessary yard on the next play to move the chains, and Devine ran for seven yards to get the ball to the 28-yard line.
Clarke moved it two yards closer before West Virginia called a timeout with three seconds to play, and Bitancurt lined up and booted the ball through the uprights to give the hosts the win.
Brown finished 19-of-31 for 164 yards for West Virginia, with seven of those passes going to Alric Arnett for 71 yards.
Dion Lewis matched Devine's big rushing day for Pitt, going for 155 yards on 26 carries. Stull completed 16-of-30 passes for 179 yards and the TD, and was intercepted twice. Baldwin ended with eight catches for 127 yards.
Hutchins missed a 46-yarder on Pittsburgh's opening drive, and West Virginia missed out on a scoring chance late in the first quarter. The Mountaineers had a 1st-and-goal at the 10-yard line, and after Clarke was thrown for a one-yard loss, Jock Sanders ran for eight on the last play of the frame.
Brown then ran for two yards to make it a 4th-and-goal at the one, but Brown was sacked for a 10-yard loss as Pitt took over.
The Mountaineers failed to convert a 4th-and-9 in Pittsburgh territory later in the quarter, and the Panthers turned the ensuing possession into the first points of the game, as Hutchins kicked a 37-yarder with 3:21 left in the half.
West Virginia then had to punt, but got the ball back after Keith Tandy intercepted Stull in Pittsburgh territory. The Mountaineers took over at the Panthers' 40 and again advanced the ball inside the 10.
A nine-yard rush by Devine made it a 1st-and-goal at the one, but an incomplete pass and false start gave the Mountaineers a 2nd-and-goal from the six with time running down. Brown ran for three yards before Bitancurt kicked a 20-yarder, and the teams went into the break tied.
Bitancurt put WVU ahead with a 43-yarder a little under six minutes into the third quarter, though Pitt responded with a 30-yard kick by Hutchins to make it a 6-6 game.
On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, Devine ripped off an 88-yard TD as the Mountaineers took a 13-6 lead with 4:34 left.
Hutchins missed a 53-yard attempt on the next Pitt series, and early in the fourth quarter Stull was intercepted by Robert Sands. West Virginia started a drive at its own 39 and reached the Pitt 22 before Bitancurt's 39-yard kick made it a 16-6 game with 10:05 to play.
WVU totaled 369 yards compared to 325 for Pitt...Pitt had won the last two editions of the Backyard Brawl. The Panthers have not won three in a row in the series since winning seven straight from 1976-82. Pitt still holds a 61-38-3 lead in the series...The Mountaineers play at Rutgers on December 5.
11/27 23:36:47 ET