Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/25/11

If that is truly the final Backyard Brawl, then West Virginia gave its fans a performance to remember.

Tino Sunseri, well, gave Pittsburgh fans a shot to the gut.

After leading 17-7 at halftime, West Virginia's defense played like the 2010 version and held the Panthers to just a field goal and sacked Sunseri 10 times.

Sunseri has had his issues in the past, but Friday's performance was just more proof why the Panthers need to find a better option. He held onto the ball too long and was a big reason why West Virginia was able to pull out a 21-20 victory.

Even with the clock running down in the final minute of the game, Sunseri kept taking sacks and was flagged for illegal grounding.

And this was happening against a WVU defense that has been average at best in 2011.


The underlying theme of the night, though, was this may have been the final Backyard Brawl. After playing this game 104 times, the Mountaineers (8-3) and Panthers (5-6) are heading to different conferences in the future.

WVU hopes to be in the Big 12 next year, while Pitt plans to join the ACC with Syracuse in 2014. At this point, there are no plans to continue this rivalry.

That would be a shame for both programs, as this game is as heated as any in the country. The atmosphere in Morgantown was electric. WVU's fans went quiet early when Pitt built a 14-0 lead, but they quickly got back into the mood with a score.

West Virginia's win cleared up the Big East race a little as well.

If Cincinnati loses to either Syracuse on Saturday or to Connecticut next week then Louisville at 7-5 will represent the conference in a BCS Bowl. The Cardinals would also go if WVU loses to South Florida. If Cincinnati, WVU and Louisville all finish at 5-2 in the league, it will more than likely be the Mountaineers who represent the league.

We may have an answer Saturday. If not, we'll wait a week.

For now, the Mountaineers just want to enjoy a sloppy, but important win over their biggest rival.

WVU has now won three Backyard Brawls in a row, but whether they get a chance to improve on that run is in the hands of the respective athletic directors.

Hey guys, get something done because these types of games should not come to an end because of realignment.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Broncos DB on Brock Osweiler: ‘None of this is a surprise to us’

Jarius Wright: ‘Everybody’s embracing their role’ on Vikings

Rob Gronkowski seems to agree he's been targeted on P.I. calls

Harbaugh on kick-six: ‘Never seen anything like it in my life’

Report: Josh McCown’s season likely over

Antonio Cromartie: Beckham Jr. still has room to grow


NFL pulls officiating crew from SNF after error-filled game

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo has a lot of football left in him

Jerry West: It’s painful watching Kobe Bryant

Brett Favre compared Browns QB Austin Davis to Tom Brady

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Okafor reportedly will have security guard when he goes out

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Paul George: Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker