The Pitt Panthers coaches know that the backyard brawl is just an emotion

PITTSBURGH — The layers of the Pitt-West Virginia rivalry — from the proximity to the contrasting environments surrounding the two schools to the gritty, underdog attitude the entire region hopes to embody — combine to create a bitter gridiron clash. This game is simply different and requires increased focus and energy from the participants.

There are plenty of immediate and specific concerns for the Panthers as the kickoff looms, but in addition, the normal study of the scheme and fine-tuning of technique is a crash course in what this game means. The gravity of the clash between the Panthers and Mountaineers may not fully register for a 19-year-old player who was too young to remember the Brawl in its prime, but it does for their older coaches.

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