The Backyard Brawl through the eyes of some who participated in it

PITTSBURGH — It has been played at Pitt Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium and Heinz Field. It’s been played in Morgantown and even Fairmont, West Virginia. The history of the Backyard Brawl dates back 127 years. Channel 11 caught up with players and coaches who know what the brawl is all about, including Dave Wannstedt and Dorin Dickerson from Pitt, and Mike Logan from West Virginia.

From Logan’s perspective, “Everything about this game speaks college football.”

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Logan played in the brawl four times, and West Virginia won all four of those games. That was a mission for Logan, because he was overlooked by Pitt while coming out of McKeesport in High School.

Logan said, “I said at that time, I was going to their biggest rival, and I was going to kick their (expletive) for four years, and that’s what I did.”

Dorin Dickerson won twice and lost twice in the Backyard Brawl. He was part of the 13-9 upset win over West Virginia. “It was unbelievable at the time because we weren’t going to a bowl game. Our season, we weren’t very good that year. That was our championship game. That was our bowl game.”

Not only was it their bowl game, but it also changed the game for Pitt. “West Virginia was in their stadium surrounded by 12 recruits on the sideline,” said former coach Dave Wannstedt. “I think we ended up after that upset, we ended up getting about eight of those players. So, it’s a program-changing game.”

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Dickerson is getting caught up in the hype, saying: “I’m so fired up! I mean, rivalries like this, it’s just amazing for sports and especially for college football.”

Wannstedt talked about the lasting legacy of getting a win in the brawl. “The guy on the street, the guy in the local bar down on the South Side, he wants to be able to talk all year long about beating West Virginia, as do the people in Morgantown.”

Logan sang Country Roads for us and finished by saying, “Whenever we’re playing in the Backyard Brawl, I’m a (expletive) Mountaineer. I’m proud to be a Mountaineer.”