Pitt won a classic against rival West Virginia on Thursday night.

The Panthers got a stop in the final minutes to clinch a 38-31 victory in the first Backyard Brawl since 2011.

Kedon Slovis threw for 308 yards and 1 touchdown in the win. His lone touchdown of the night tied the game in the 4th quarter and gave the Panthers’ defense a chance to win the game on a pick 6 on WVU’s ensuing drive.

Here are 3 takeaways from the game:

For better or worse, Pitt’s offense is more balanced

When Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple left in the offseason, coach Pat Narduzzi wanted to take a more balanced approach.

Pitt’s offense was more balanced on Thursday night, but to mixed results. The Panthers attempted 24 passes and 29 rushes (not including sacks or kneel downs). The passing game continued to be efficient as Pitt averaged 12.8 yards per attempt. But the running game netted 88 total yards on the night and an average of just over 3 yards per rush.

Figuring out that balance will be key for the Panthers’ offense moving forward.

The DL is a problem

Pitt’s defensive line dominated West Virginia’s front all night long. Quarterback JT Daniels was seemingly constantly under pressure and easily could have thrown more than 1 interception.

The line finished the night with 3 sacks, 8 tackles for loss and 7 quarterback hurries. That performance came against a WVU offensive line that returned all 5 starters from last season. John Morgan III led the way with 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 2 QB hurries.

The rivalry delivered

It’s great to have the Backyard Brawl back. A casualty of realignment in the early 2010s, this game proved why it should still be played on an annual basis.

The good news: That seems to mostly be the plan for the foreseeable future. West Virginia is already on Pitt’s nonconference schedule for 2023-25 and 2029-32. Perhaps tonight’s game will push both administrations into making this a permanent fixture on the college football calendar.