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Mountaineers have a ball in the Brawl

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West Virginia Keeps Big East Hopes Alive (0:50)

Geno Smith threw for 212 yards and 3 TDs as West Virginia put away Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl (0:50)

PITTSBURGH -- The ball is now in Connecticut's court.

West Virginia knocked off Pittsburgh in wildly convincing fashion with a 35-10 win at Heinz Field. The Mountaineers delivered a major statement in moving into a first-place tie in the Big East , but they still need a Huskies loss to claim the league's BCS bid.

Pittsburgh, which at one point was 3-0 in the league and holding a two-game lead, fell to 6-5 and needs to win at Cincinnati next week just to have a winning season. Hard to believe the league's overwhelming preseason favorite fell so far, but the Panthers have just been way too sloppy most of the season. That continued in their biggest game of the year, as they committed four turnovers to none for West Virginia. I still don't believe Dave Wannstedt is in serious trouble, but this will no doubt turn the heat way up on him after yet another dispiriting showing.

This has to rate as easily the best performance of the season for the Mountaineers, and they've gotten hot at the right time. They talked a big game all year about this Brawl and Pitt's hype, and they backed it up when it counted.