The Pittsburgh Panthers and the West Virginia Mountaineers meet in Morgantown for the annual "Backyard Brawl" between the two Big East rivals. The Mountaineers are still in the hunt for the Big East title if things go their way, but first and foremost they'll need to beat Pittsburgh. The Panthers on the other hand can't win the Big East, but they can play the spoiler by knocking off their rival.
SB Nation's Pittsburgh blog Cardiac Hill wonders if their inconsistent offense can exploit the 'Eers 3-3-5 defense:
One of the best decisions Holgorsen made when he came to Morgantown was keeping defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel on his staff. Casteel, a master of the 3-3-5 defensive scheme, has the Mountaineers ranked 26th in total defense and 37th in pass defense, including just 12 passing touchdowns allowed all season. The problem is that the Mountaineers have been lit up on occasion this season. LSU scored 47, Syracuse scored 49, Rutgers scored 31, and Louisville scored 38. Of that group, only LSU has a particularly strong offense. They seemed to play well against a quality offense in Cincinnati, holding them to 21 points, but you have to wonder how much of that was due to the injury to Collaros. Can an inconsistent Pitt offense exploit West Virginia?
While the 'Eers defense is a concern, quarterback Geno Smith and the WVU offense is as explosive as ever and can put up points. The Mountaineers offense currently ranks 14th in the nation with the 6th ranked passing offense, with Smith throwing for nearly 3,500 yards in the air with 24 passing touchdowns. The Panthers defense is only giving up 22.8 points per game, however.
Game date, time: 7:00 pm ET, Friday, November 25th
Location: Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN3
Spread: West Virginia favored by 8
Series history: Pittsburgh leads, 59-34
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Pittsburgh blog Cardiac Hill and West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket. Here’s the complete Week 13 college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.