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July 16, 2013
The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 48 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.
Today's number is 48, so we're looking at the most points ever scored in a Pitt game.
According to legend, Western Union operators across the country on Oct. 2, 1965, thought they were being had, targets of a prank originating in Morgantown, West Virginia. There was simply no way the constant scoring updates they were receiving from the 58th edition of the Backyard Brawl could be accurate. Someone must have been having fun at their expense, sending all of those ridiculously hyperbolic scores along.
But there was no prank that day. Pitt and West Virginia really were scoring at a rate unmatched in history, and when it was (finally) over, the Mountaineers had defeated the Panthers 63-48, setting the record for the highest-scoring game in college football history.
That record has since been eclipsed on the national scale, but it still stands as Pitt's high-water mark for the most total points scored in a game. The Panthers themselves scored a whopping 96 points against Dickinson in 1914, but no single game has had a combined score as high as the 1965 Brawl.
The scoring ran start to finish, and by the time the final whistle blew, the two teams had combined for 1,071 yards of offense, 16 touchdowns and 45 first downs. Pitt was led by quarterback Ken Lucas, who threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and halfback Eric Crabtree, who carried the ball four times but gained 75 yards and also had three receptions for 76 yards.
For West Virginia, quarterback Allen McCune threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns and ran for one more score, but Mountaineer halfback Garrett Ford was the game's star, rushing for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries (including 133 rushing yards in the second quarter alone). WVU also got 139 yards and a touchdown from fullback Dick Leftridge.
The 1965 Brawl was WVU's third consecutive win in the series and improved the Mountaineers to 4-0 on the season. For Pitt, the loss was the first in a three-game streak of defeats as John Michelosen's era was coming to a close. The Panthers finished 3-7 that season and Michelosen was let go at the end of the year.
Previous entries in the Countdown
Countdown: 49 - The sack master
Countdown: 50 - The winningest coach in Pitt history
Countdown: 51 - A kicking record
Countdown: 52 - The link between Goldberg and Dorsett
Countdown: 53 - The legacy of Henry Ford
Countdown: 54 - A "Corny" mid-century quarterback
Countdown: 55 - Pitt makes history
Countdown: 56 - Panthers in the Super Bowl
Countdown: 57 - A unique scoring title
Countdown: 58 - Another Dorsett record
Countdown: 59 - The rare 59-point game
Countdown: 60 - A record that won't be broken
Countdown: 61 - Pitt's longest-running rivalry
Countdown: 62 - The last touchdown against Penn State
Countdown: 63 - The No Bowl Panthers
Countdown: 64 - The most passes in a game
Countdown: 65 - The other 13-9
Countdown: 66 - A local star
Countdown: 67 - One-win seasons
Countdown: 68 - The most prolific receiving game
Countdown: 69 - One of the biggest plays in Pitt history
Countodwn: 70 - The origin of Pitt's nine championships
Countdown: 71 - A good player in a bad era
Countdown: 72 - An All-American who became a dentist
Countdown: 73 - May Day
Countdown: 74 - A "groundwork" season
Countdown: 75 - A successful DL-to-OL move
Countdown: 76 - The 1976 national championship
Countdown: 77 - The last three-sport athletes
Countdown: 78 - An underrated pro
Countdown: 79 - One of the best
Countdown: 80 - The greatest non-championship team in Pitt history
Countdown: 81 - A crushing end to a great season
Countdown: 82 - The dawn of the Foge Era
Countdown: 83 - The most accurate kicker in Pitt history
Countdown: 84 - Pitt in the Pro Bowl
Countdown: 85 - A play that will never be matched
Countdown: 86 - A long but unfulfilled play
Countdown: 87 - The final year of Ironhead
Countdown: 88 - Pitt's All-American tradition
Countdown: 89 - Iron Mike
Countdown: 90 - The four 9-0's
Countdown: 91 - The two longest plays in Pitt history
Countdown: 92 - The senior year of the most productive QB in Pitt history
Countdown: 93 - The only 9-3 season in Pitt history
Countdown: 94 - The statistical oddity of 1994
Countdown: 95 - A relentless player and his dominant season
Countdown: 96 - The biggest win in Pitt history
Countdown: 97 - A dominant current Panther
Countdown: 98 - A transition year
Countdown: 99 - Hugh Green
Countdown: 100 - A look at Pitt in 1913