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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Recaps and reactions to West Virginia’s heartbreaking fourth-quarter loss in the Backyard Brawl

Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.


Panthers Rally to Defeat West Virginia 38-31 | West Virginia University Athletics
The largest crowd to ever watch a sporting event in Pittsburgh – 70,622 – saw Pitt rally in the fourth quarter to defeat West Virginia 38-31 in the 105th edition of the Backyard Brawl.

One that got away: West Virginia loses late lead in Backyard Brawl, falls to Pitt 38-31 | WV MetroNews
West Virginia let a golden opportunity go to waste Thursday night in the 105th edition of the Backyard Brawl.

The Plays That Changed the Game - Backyard Brawl | EerSports
There were well over 130 plays run during the West Virginia-Pitt game on Thursday night. As is always the case, some of those play were far more impactful on the outcome of the contest than others. Here's a quick rundown on some of the biggest plays using ESPN's in-game win probability.

Neal Brown discusses officiating, fourth down calls in loss to Pitt | EerSports
West Virginia fell to No. 17 Pittsburgh on Thursday evening, 38-31, in a heartbreaking loss for the Mountaineers that saw Neal Brown's team go up seven and with the ball in the fourth quarter before blowing the lead late. One of the decisions that ultimately led to the loss was a choice with about six minutes to go when WVU elected to punt instead of going for it on fourth-and-a-foot.

Pitt's pick six completes rally to win Backyard Brawl 38-31 | EerSports
Cornerback M.J. Devonshire's 56-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:58 to go helped No. 17 Pitt overcome a touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter and survive West Virginia 38-31 Thursday night in a riveting return of the Backyard Brawl.

Pitt interception key to their victory in renewed Backyard Brawl | Times West Virginian
If it could go wrong, it did go wrong in the fourth quarter as a brave West Virginia team suffered a 38-31 defeat to Backyard Brawl rival Pitt that was almost as hard to swallow as the 13-9 loss of 2007 that cost the Mountaineers a shot at a national championship game.

WVU’s Neal Brown Upset With Refereeing vs. Pitt: ‘Don’t Ask Me What Targeting Is’ | Sports Illustrated
The Mountaineers’ coach was agitated with a few critical calls during the season-opening loss.

WVU Sports

Men's soccer travels to Penn State Friday looking to bounce back from rivalry loss | The DA
Following a disappointing 3-0 Backyard Brawl defeat in Pittsburgh on Monday, the West Virginia Mountaineers men’s soccer team plays again in Pennsylvania Friday night, as they take on the Penn

West Virginia and Auburn Play to Scoreless Draw | West Virginia University Athletics
The No. 21-ranked West Virginia University women's soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw with No. 11 Auburn at Auburn Soccer Complex in Auburn, Alabama, on Thursday night.

West Virginia Falls in Hawaii | West Virginia University Athletics
The West Virginia University volleyball team (2-2) fell to No. 23 UCLA (2-1) to open the Outrigger Volleyball Challenge at the Simplifi Arena at Stan Sheriff in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Thursday, Sept. 1.

WVU’s esports team levels up, enters first full season | The DA
Last fall, Josh Steger came to West Virginia University with the dream of creating an esports team. Now, after a successful summer series, his team returns for its first full season.

Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign BOTH Cooper Rush AND Will Grier as Dak Prescott Practice-Squad Backups | Cowboys Country
To be frank, in the battle to be the No. 2 QB behind Dak Prescott, no training camp or preseason game result made this choice easy, or especially inspiring.

Seahawks fans surveyed believe Geno Smith over Drew Lock was right move | Field Gulls
Was this the right decision from Pete Carroll given that Drew Lock is the one believed to have more upside and is theoretically more talented? Most Seahawks fans who voted believe Geno was the right choice.

Bears won most sought-after waiver wire player | ClutchPoints
The Bears, after finishing 6-11, are looking to improve on the margins. And they're not just adding former first-rounder Alex Leatherwood. According to Ian Rapoport, it was tight end Trevon Wesco, who was claimed by the Browns, Indianapolis Colts, and Cincinnati Bengals alongside the Bears after being waived by the New York Jets.

Around the Big 12

Kansas extends football coach Lance Leipold's deal by 1 year, through 2027 season | ESPN
Kansas on Thursday announced that football coach Lance Leipold has signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the school through the 2027 season.

Spencer Sanders passes for 4 touchdowns, runs for 2 more as Oklahoma State Cowboys deliver Mike Gundy 150th win | ESPN
Spencer Sanders passed for a career-high 406 yards and accounted for six touchdowns as No. 12 Oklahoma State beat Central Michigan 58-44 on Thursday night to give Mike Gundy his 150th coaching victory.

Around the NCAA

College Football Playoff expansion could be possible for 2024 | Sports Illustrated
University presidents are moving on discussions and a potential vote that could put expansion as early as 2024 back on the table.

The Five Most Interesting College Football Story Lines | The Ringer
To celebrate the return of college football, The Ringer explores the topics that will matter most this season, from potential domination by Alabama to the fallout from Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave Oklahoma for USC

Donovan Mitchell Gives the Cleveland Cavaliers Exactly What They Need | The Ringer
It cost a steep price, but the trade for Utah’s All-Star guard makes Cleveland one of the most exciting and well-rounded teams in the East

The Power of Serena Williams, on Full Display One More Time | The Ringer
Everyone seemed nervous during Williams’s win over Anett Kontaveit at the U.S. Open on Wednesday. Everyone except Serena, that is.

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