The Pitt football coach went into the 2007 Backyard Brawl against No. 2 West Virginia in Morgantown with a 4-7 Panthers team that was a 28.5-point underdog.
But he didn't care about showing his players how to do blitzes or screen passes. Instead, he showed them pictures of the bus Pitt would ride into
West Virginia and told them stories about how the team bus had been hit with beer bottles and rocks on previous trips to Morgantown.
"I was just trying to tell our players, "We need to get ready for what's coming. "This game is about more than just college football," Wannstedt said.
LeSean "Shady" McCoy, a star running back, was all set. Wannstedt remembered, "So we're driving in on the bus, and it's quiet.
." " And all of a sudden... Bang! Bang! It's coming up. And Shady kind of stands up and says, "Hey, Coach, just like we saw on the tape!" and then the whole bus comes to life."
Things were just beginning. On the first play of the game, McCoy ran for 12 yards. After the whistle, West Virginia defensive end Johnny Dingle and
Pitt tackle Jeff Otah got into a fight and were both called for personal fouls. Wannstedt said, "They both took off their gloves and started hitting each other
, and the whistles were going off." " And I'm standing on the sidelines laughing to myself because I tore my Achilles a month ago and have to use crutches.
"I told them, "Well, they get it. "We're having a fight in the backyard."