Pittsburgh (1-1) at West Virginia (1-1)
September 16th, 2022, 7:30 PM ET
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia
Weather – Mostly Clear, 68 degrees
West Virginia 17 – Pittsburgh 6
These two fan bases do not like each other and this was the first time the Backyard Brawl was played in Morgantown since 2011. You better believe the crowd was hyped up. The fact this was a 7:30 Eastern kickoff gave the crowd plenty of time to tailgate and pump even more before the game started.
The first half of the game was pretty sloppy. After a Mountaineer punt, Pittsburgh took their first drive of the game down for an opening field goal to go up 3-0. This was the only score of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, West Virginia finally got on the board. After a fumble gave the ball to Pittsburgh, Phil Jurkovec threw it right back to the Mountaineers on the second play of their drive. Seven yards later, West Virginia took the 7-3 lead. Pittsburgh would add another field goal at the end of the half to make it 7-6.
The second half started out bright for West Virginia who took their first possession right down the field for a touchdown to take a 14-6 lead. After a second Pitt interception, the Mountaineers kicked a field goal to go up 17-6.
That is all that was needed. The Pitt offense struggled for the second straight week. Phil Jurkovec ended up throwing for only 81 yards with three interceptions. The Mountaineers picked up the win with the crowd going home happy.
Final: West Virginia 17 – Pittsburgh 6
I had been to a West Virginia previously before starting my Road Trip adventures, but this one had a much different feel as it was against a bitter rival. Fans showed up in force and was tailgating in masse before the game. There was even a concert going on pre-game close by. People were excited for this one and started lining up at the gates about 30 minutes before they opened.
The alignment was horseshoe based with a second tier of seats on both of the sidelines. The north side of the stadium had the Diversified Energy terrace. There was a large video board on the South side of the stadium and a medium sized one on the North side. Runner boards ran between the two tiers as well.
The one interesting was in the South end zone. They had a large field area behind the field with a large number of tables and chairs. It appeared to be an area for donors and season ticket holders to hang out before the game.
From a concession standpoint, there wasn’t anything special. They did have a couple places serving Papa John’s pizza and Zul’s frozen lemonade. Other than that, there were only regular concession stands serving normal stadium foods.
Hot dog – $3.50
Souvenir Soda – $8.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Volleyball – Robert Morris (3-7) vs. West Virginia (5-6)
The game was held at the WVU Coliseum and had around 500 people in attendance. Whenever you have a smaller crowd in such a large venue it does seem to take away something. There was a pep band in attendance to help liven things up though.
The coliseum has a double decker set up with a large video board above center court. They also had runner boards between the two tiers. There was only one concession stand open since there was such a small crowd, but they did have half price food and drink for the hour before first serve.
This was the last game in a three-day invitational. The Mountaineers split their first two games with Old Dominion while Robert Morris lost both of their games in straight sets.
The first set was one of the most fun sets I’ve seen in person. After being tied at 24, the teams just traded serves back and forth without any decisive point made. Finally, West Virginia got the breakthrough they needed and won the set 34-32.
Robert Morris came back strong in the second set. They put the Mountaineers away 25-21 to tie things up at one set a piece
Losing the second set seemed to light a fire under West Virginia. They came out in the third set and handled things easily, winning the set 25-13. The momentum carried over into the fourth. They won the fourth set 25-13 as well, putting the game away 3 sets to 1.
One of the interesting things about the West Virginia campus is there are two almost distinct campuses. There is the main area in downtown Morgantown, but then there is a second area a couple miles northwest of the main campus. In order to connect the two areas there is a small light rain system that is free for students to ride to get back and forth. This would also be beneficial for parking purposes.
I spent my visit on the main campus downtown. There were a lot of older building that gave it a distinctive feel. The only thing that took away from the campus was there was a main road that cut right down the middle of the campus. This meant there was always traffic and that it was always backed up. This would be frustrating if I had to drive in this area with any regularity.
Some of the building on campus were very pretty though. The main one that stuck out was Woodburn Hall. This building had a classic clock tower in the middle of it. There were a couple other buildings that had the old campus feel to it as well including Stewart Hall and Elizabeth Moore Hall.
This came a lot closer to the East Coast classic college campus feel that I love walking amongst on my trips.
Coopers Rock State Forest
There are not a ton of attractions in West Virginia, but being in the Appalachian area there are plenty of places to go for some great views. One of those places is at Coopers Rock State Forest.
The forest is close to Morgantown making it an easy drive from the city to check out. As the name suggests, Coopers Rock is the highlight with some amazing views of the area. You could see down into the valley including the Cheat River. There were many birds flying around the area as well.
There were many hiking trails across the whole area as well. You could take a trail that would take you down the cliffs to the lower areas. There is also a large playground nearby for families to bring their kids and make a day of it.
Places like this are always nice to visit just to have a little bit of time to get away from the noise of the city. I took quite a bit of time to just sit and enjoy nature before getting back to my trip.
Pricketts Fort State Park – Fairmont
Pricketts Fort State Park is located just north of Fairmont, West Virginia. The highlight of this area is a fort that was built to represent the types of forts that were around in the late 18th century.
One of the cool things about the fort as they have volunteers that are inside doing tasks that people might be done back in the day. While we were there, someone was dying some ropes to be used for decorating. They also had a blacksmith on site that was making various items using the old-fashioned methods. They have many schools that come out throughout the year to check the fort out.
Another building located on the site is the Job Prickett house. This house was built in 1859 by the grandson of the man the fort is named after. A majority of the items within the house was authentic which made it interesting to see how the family lived during that time.
Being a state park, there were also boat ramps nearby making a place where people could come and spend the day without even visiting the fort if they would like. To enter the park itself was free, but there was a fee to visit the Prickett house and to go inside the fort.
From the outside, Tropics is a rather unassuming restaurant. But once you go get past the façade it actually has a great atmosphere. They have a huge outdoor patio area with its own bar along with a fairly large stage for musical performances during the year.
The main cuisine at the restaurant is Hawaiian cuisine. I went with the mochiko chicken which is covered with soy, garlic, and ginger then fried. As with the normal Hawaiian style plates, it was served with white rice and macaroni salad.
The plate looked nice but the main thing I noticed with the dish was how salty everything was. After a few bites it just made it difficult to eat. I wasn’t able to finish the chicken because of it. I will say the macaroni salad was good, so I was able to have it there as a palate cleanser
Apple Annie’s is a family restaurant with a large bakery inside. In fact, I would say the bakery might have been the bigger attraction as many people came in to pick up ordered cakes and cookies as we were there.
The menu was pretty large and had many things that you would expect at a regular American styled restaurant. I decided on the apple glazed chicken which came with sides of mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans.
The chicken was well seasoned. The apple glaze is a homemade glaze, but it came on the side as opposed to on the chicken itself. It had good flavor and added sweetness to the chicken. The mashed potatoes and green beans were both good as well.
This was a good meal, but nothing overly special. I wish I had saved room for desert to try one of the homemade cookies they were selling. They had a ton of different types including butter pecan.
Dirty Bird is a small restaurant in downtown Morgantown serving different types of chicken dishes. You could tell they had a good following as the person taking orders knew a lot of people coming in by name.
I was not very hungry at the time, so after taking a look at the menu I decided to go with the chicken sliders. These came with a side of fries as well.
When the plate came to the table my eyes nearly bulged out. These sliders were HUGE! It was almost two full sandwiches. Each one came topped with cheese and pickles.
The chicken was great. It was hot and juicy with great flavor. The only issue was the size. I looked around at a couple of the other sandwiches and they were all just as large. At the end, I was only able to make a through one of the two sliders.
This is a place definitely worth visiting, just make sure you have a huge appetite.
Muriale’s Italian Kitchen – Fairmont
While looking for places to eat in the Morgantown area to dine, this Italian restaurant in Fairmont kept showing up at the top of the list. It was originally founded by a family that migrated from Italy in the early 1900s.
The outside of the restaurant was nothing special but walking in there were a lot of pictures and décor that made it feel homier.
Of course, I had to go with the spaghetti and meatballs. One thing slightly different is the sauce that came with the meatballs was a meat sauce as opposed to just a marinara.
The spaghetti was delicious. The meat sauce made the spaghetti a lot heartier and the meatballs were tasty as well. Authentic food from small restaurants always will win out over chain restaurants when it comes to this type of food. This place would be a regular go-to if I lived in the area.