MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The atmosphere for the 2023 Backyard Brawl was electric, and that electricity continued all throughout the game.
Pitt started off grabbing momentum before eventually settling for a field goal on a drive Rodney Hammond gashed the WVU defense on the ground. That was a small win for West Virginia, but any excitement about that quickly got squashed with an injury to Garrett Greene.
It became the Nicco Marchiol Show when Greene left the game and was seen limping off the field. To their credit, the fans brought as much electricity as they could, but that just didn’t make its way to the team itself, at least not yet.
A fumble by Marchiol seemed to further set the negative tone for the Mountaineers. That was until Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec gave the ball right back with an errant throw that was picked off by Aubrey Burks. Kole Taylor then soon found the end zone on the ensuing drive, giving WVU a 7-3 lead.
A late Pitt field goal took us to a 7-6 game at halftime in a sloppy Brawl to this point.
CJ Donaldson extended West Virginia’s lead and got himself over 100 yard on the night. Donaldson hammered the ball through the Pitt defensive line and gave WVU a 14-6 edge with just under five minutes left in the quarter.
It was then time for West Virginia to solidify the win. Beanie Bishop gave the WVU secondary another pick and that led to more points.
The West Virginia defense made sure to impose their will the rest of the way. Some could argue it was mistakes by Jurkovec. Some could say Pitt handed WVU this win. But no matter what anyone may think, Neal Brown and his West Virginia Mountaineers claimed a must-needed victory in the Backyard Brawl and their fight to prove doubters wrong continues on for another week.
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