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.
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