Holgorsen: 'I would welcome back Pitt and the Backyard Brawl any time'

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

DALLAS — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen tickled the ears of West Virginia and Pitt alike Tuesday afternoon when he reiterated his desire to rekindle the Backyard Brawl, which came to a halt after the teams' 104th meeting, a 21-20 Mountaineers victory Nov. 25, 2011.

At Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Holgorsen was asked about West Virginia's most recent announcement, that the Mountaineers will open the 2018 season against Tennessee at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. His answer dovetailed into a discussion on using home-and-home series and neutral-site games to feature regional opponents. West Virginia currently has Maryland on the schedule and in the next decade will have home-and-home series with Penn State and Virginia Tech.

That left one rival conspicuously absent. And Holgorsen minced no words there.

"I would welcome back Pitt and the Backyard Brawl any time that they want it," Holgorsen said.

Later, Holgorsen repeated that he and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck "are most definitely" open to adding Pitt to the schedule, though he acknowledged that the programs' transition from the Big East, which featured just seven conference games per year, to the Big 12 (nine) and ACC (eight) has made it difficult to line up a non-conference matchup.

"I think that'd be good for not only Morgantown and the state of West Virginia, I think it'd be good for Pittsburgh and Western Pa. as well," Holgorsen said. "But scheduling is tricky. ... Now that we're not in the same conference we both had to drop non-conference games. That makes it challenging. There's a reason why a lot of games are being announced for 2020 and 2021. ... It's got to be done in advance.

"But if it takes scheduling [the Backyard Brawl] in 2024 and 2025 or 2025 and 2026, I'd be all for it."

Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.


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