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Mountaineers trying to keep away from letdown following emotional Yard Brawl victory

MORGANTOWN — Following an emotional victory over their largest rival final week, the West Virginia Mountaineers need to keep away from a letdown when a workforce that’s had their quantity for 4 seasons involves city on Saturday.

After defeating Pitt 17-6 final Saturday, WVU (2-1) will conclude its three-game dwelling stand by welcoming Texas Tech (1-2) to Milan Puskar Stadium this week (3:30 p.m./ESPN+).

“They’ve had our quantity,” head coach Neal Brown mentioned Monday. “That’ll most likely be the story this week; we are able to’t cover from it, they’ve crushed us 4 years in a row.” 

The Pink Raiders have a four-game profitable streak over the Mountaineers, spanning Brown’s total tenure in Morgantown. Final 12 months’s 48-10 loss in Lubbock, Texas was WVU’s largest margin of defeat since 2020.

“Final 12 months was most likely as unhealthy of a efficiency as I’ve ever been part of,” Brown mentioned. “For those who watch that movie, it wouldn’t take you very lengthy to prepare for this one as a result of that was unhealthy ball final 12 months.”

The pure fear is that the win over a giant rival may carry over into the workforce’s preparation the next week and stop them from absolutely specializing in the Pink Raiders. Based on some WVU gamers, nevertheless, that’s not occurring.

“The objective was by no means simply to beat Pitt,” defensive lineman Tomiwa Durojaiye mentioned. “Clearly it’s a giant sport and it was for the state, however for the Texas Tech sport, they’ve had our quantity for 4 years so this sport is now quite a bit private for the workforce. I really feel like that is one thing the place we have to exit and present the Massive 12 what we’re about.”

The Mountaineers watched the tape from the Pitt sport Sunday and Monday morning however then had moved on by the point they practiced Monday afternoon.

“You will have to have the ability to swap gears and put that previously,” proper sort out Doug Nester mentioned. “That sport’s over with, finished, we celebrated it and we want to have the ability to transfer ahead and concentrate on Texas Tech now.”

It’s been simple for this group of gamers to maneuver on, based on Brown, as a result of the Yard Brawl rivalry continues to be so new to a lot of them.

“The Yard Brawl is a big deal for our fan base and our state,” Brown mentioned. “I attempt to educate (our gamers) on the historic reference of the Yard Brawl and what it means.” 

The oldest present Mountaineer gamers would have been round 10 years previous when the annual sequence with Pitt led to 2011.

“I wouldn’t say they perceive it just like the 20-year season ticket holder or somebody who grew up within the state of West Virginia,” Brown continued. “So that they’re going to have the ability to put it to mattress fairly fast.”

This Saturday’s sport is the Massive 12 convention opener for each groups. After being picked final within the convention preseason ballot, the Mountaineers are motivated to begin convention play with a win.

“These guys have been prepared to maneuver on (Sunday),” offensive coordinator Chad Scott mentioned. “They have been all able to put that to mattress and transfer on to Texas Tech. They’re a really mature group, they perceive the problems and the challenges we’ve had up to now with these guys and the chance we’ve obtained this week. No downside placing that away, these guys are prepared to maneuver on.”

The Mountaineers have a dropping document, 2-3, in opposition to Texas Tech at dwelling. They final beat the Pink Raiders in Morgantown in 2017.

“They’ve received the final two instances they’ve come right here and our guys know that,” Brown mentioned. “We have been picked final within the convention and that is our first alternative to show the so-called specialists fallacious.”

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