The Backyard Brawl returns on Thursday in West Virginia’s most highly-anticipated season opener in recent memory.

Here’s everything you need to know about the clash.

WVU football at No. 17 Pitt game information

WVU Football 2022 Season Preview The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast

A consequential season is on the horizon for West Virginia's football squad as Neal Brown faces arguably his toughest schedule yet. It all gets started with what might be the biggest game for WVU in a decade: the first Backyard Brawl since 2011. On this edition of The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast presented by Pritt & Spano, hosts Ryan Decker, Anjelica Trinone and Sam Coniglio set the table for Coach Brown's fourth season as the Mountaineer head coach.

WVU football at No. 17 Pitt matchup preview

There’s no doubt that the Mountaineers have a tough test to open their season. Unranked WVU is tasked with heading up I-79 to face the 17th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers. West Virginia opens the season against a ranked opponent for the first time since 2017, when it squared off against No. 21 Virginia Tech in Landover, Maryland.

The Panthers will likely be stout. Coach Pat Narduzzi tapped on quarterback Kedon Slovis, a former First-Team All-Pac 12 pick in 2020, to lead the offense, and he will be surrounded by weapons and protected by an experienced offensive line. They could be even tougher on defense, as the high number of returners on the line have garnered predictions that it could be the best D-line in Pitt history.

There is much, much more on the line in this game than just a win or a loss. Sept. 1 will mark the first Backyard Brawl since 2011, reigniting one of the most heated rivalries in the country. Tickets for the game sold out in minutes, trash talk has gone back-and-forth on social media all offseason, and certain song choices at WVU’s practices have signaled a particular focus on the team’s season opener.

Neal Brown named JT Daniels as WVU’s starting quarterback on Monday as he released his team’s full depth chart. All five offensive linemen are returning for 2022. In fact, Neal Brown said he feels comfortable rotating seven guys through that spot.

There are plenty of quality Mountaineers making their returns on defense, as well, including All-Big 12 selection Dante Stills. He is flanked with several potential stars, like defensive end Taijh Alston, linebackers Lee Kpogba and Lance Dixon and cornerback Charles Woods.

Mountaineer GameDay LIVE from the Steel City

Kick off WVU’s first gameday of the season with the Gold and Blue Nation crew live from Pittsburgh with a live edition of Mountaineer GameDay at 4 p.m. ET on your local Nexstar station and at 5 p.m. ET on AT&T SportsNet.

The award-winning WVU football pregame show will get fans up to speed on the latest news right up until an hour before kickoff as co-hosts Nick Farrell and Amanda Mazey come to you live from Acrisure Stadium with GBN’s Anjelica Trinone.

The Brawl: Memories of a Bitter Rivalry

With over a century of history, the Backyard Brawl has created countless memorable moments full of both joy and pain. Gold and Blue Nation caught up with some of the biggest names in the rivalry, including Pat White, Bill McKenzie, Rasheed Marshall, Marc Bulger, Tony Caridi and more to chronicle some of those biggest memories in our documentary, “The Brawl: Memories of a Bitter Rivalry,” which is out now on GBN’s digital platforms, including and the Gold and Blue Nation Facebook page.