The West Virginia Mountaineers face the No. 17 Pittsburgh Panthers in Week 1 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. It’s been a little over 11 years since the last time these two rivals met in what is known as The Backyard Brawl. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN.
Previously one of the bigger rivalries in college football, the Mountaineers and Panthers regularly played while both in the Big East conference. The last meeting was a 21-20 win by WVU back on Thanksgiving night in 2011. This is a rivalry that dates back to the 1800s and Pitt leads the series 60-40-3 all-time. The two teams ceased playing after Pitt left for the ACC and WVU left for the Big 12 conference. WVU had won 14 of the past 20 matchups between the two schools.
This year’s matchup should look plenty different from the Big East battles we were used to seeing. Pitt is coming off a stellar season led by QB Kenny Pickett, who is now on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers finished 11-2 and won the ACC regular-season title before losing in the Chic-Fil-A Peach Bowl to Michigan State. Pitt lost Pickett but brought in transfer QB Kedon Slovis, who will start the opener.
The Mountaineers are coming off another disappointing season under coach Neal Brown. WVU finished 6-6 and was bowl eligible, losing to Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. The Mountaineers also brought in a new QB via transfer, J.T. Daniels from Georgia. There are higher expectations for WVU this season in the Big 12.
Pitt is favored by 7.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook and is -295 on the moneyline at home in this matchup. The over/under is set at 51.