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Friday, November 26, 2010
West Virginia puts Pitt on the ropes

By Brian Bennett

PITTSBURGH -- There's still a quarter left in this game, but Pitt fans can pretty much go ahead and cancel their Fiesta Bowl plans.

West Virginia just scored its second touchdown of the second half -- doubling its second-half touchdown production in its first five Big East games -- on a Geno Smith pass to Tavon Austin to make it 28-10.

It seems virtually impossible that this Mountaineers defense, which has not allowed more than 21 points all season, will succumb now. Especially against a Pitt attack that hasn't shown much big-play ability.

Smith has had a lot of time in the pocket this half -- on his second scoring pass to Austin he stood in the same spot patting the ball for several seconds. And West Virginia continues to succeed on quick strikes and big plays, while Pitt is struggling to string together successive plays without drops or near interceptions.

Expect West Virginia to go to its power running package in the fourth quarter to try and drain this clock and leave the Backyard Brawl with a huge victory.