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EerNotes: Brawl "Means Everything" to WVU

Against Louisville, West Virginia was able to come away with a win because of the incredible play of its defense.

The Mountaineer defense, like it has for most of Big East play, overshadowed a disappointing second half by the Mountaineer offense, which was only able to gain 82 yards of total offense in the final two quarters of the game and scored just three points.
Throughout Big East play, West Virginia has scored a total of 16 second half points.
When asked if he thought that the defense was winning the games, offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen quickly defended his group.

“It’s a team game,” Mullen said.

But in the Mountaineers case, that might not be true. The offense, even with all the weapons that it has, is just averaging about a field goal a game in the final two quarters.
West Virginia still has hopes of winning the Big East, thanks solely
to the tremendous play of the defense.

Every season, the West Virginia-Pitt game is always one that is circled on the calendar, even if the players don’t want to admit it.
It will especially mean more to the seniors this season, who will be playing in their final Backyard Brawl as Mountaineers.
“It means everything to me,” senior defensive lineman Scooter Berry said. “It feels good to play in this rivalry, and I’m looking forward to Friday. I hope everyone else is, too.”

In the week leading up to this game, a lot has been made about the field conditions at Heinz Field on Friday afternoon.
In last weekend’s game between the Steelers and Raiders, it didn’t look that great and chances are that it will look in even worse shape once the Mountaineers and Panthers hit the field on Friday.
The only question that is left to be answered is whether or not the field conditions in Pittsburgh will give either team an advantage.
“They probably have a little advantage because they play on it more,” sophomore Tavon Austin said. “But at the same time, everyone has to go out there and play on it on Friday.”

• Punter Gregg Pugnetti was named the Big East’s Special Teams Player of the Week. It’s the second time that Pugnetti has received the award, winning it after the Coastal Carolina game. He averaged 44.9 yards on seven punts against Louisville.
• The Mountaineers will come into the game with the fourth-ranked defense in the country, giving up just 241.45 yards per game. But they will have their hands full on Friday against a Pitt offense with an array of weapons on the offensive side of the ball.

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