Posted by Tom Fornelli
If you were to just look at the numbers from the first half of the Backyard Brawl, you would have to assume that Pitt was leading West Virginia. Just look at these things.
Pitt has outgained WVU 130 yards to 59. The Panthers have 12 first downs to West Virginia's two. On third down, the Panthers are 8-of-12 converting. The Mountaineers? 1-of-4.
So what's the score? It's 14-7...West Virginia.
As is usually the case in games like this, it's turnovers that are deciding the outcome. Pitt has turned it over three times and West Virginia hasn't. Two of those turnovers led to all 14 Mountaineers points.
On West Virginia's two scoring drives in the first half, they've run a total of 4 plays.
So, on one hand, if you're Dave Wannstedt you have to be somewhat pleased with your team today. After all, a win keeps your team in line for a BCS berth, and they have outplayed West Virginia through the first thirty minutes. On the other hand, you were probably hoping that the dumb mistakes and turnovers that had plagued your team through the first ten games of the season had been fixed, and it's clear that they just haven't been.
Still, Pitt is only down seven points. If it can manage to hold on to the ball in the second half, and keep playing the way it has been, the Panthers should leave this game with a win.