The West Virginia football program on Monday morning unveiled its new “Country Roads” alternate uniform, which will be worn in the 105th edition of the “Backyard Brawl” at Pittsburgh on Sept. 1.
The all-white uniform features a gold Flying “WV” inside a blue state outline on both sides of the helmet, as well as a gold and blue striping pattern that is supposed to resemble the center lines on roadways down the middle.
The jersey, meanwhile, features a “West Virginia” wordmark across the chest, custom blue numbers outlined in gold, a predominantly blue collar and blue sleeve caps with gold cuffs.
The numbers, collar, sleeve caps and stripes all included a sublimated roadmap of Interstate 79 – the highway that leads from Morgantown to Pittsburgh – and other notable roadways throughout the state.
The bottom of the collar is gold and features the aforementioned logo, while the inside of the back collar includes the phrase “Cue Country Roads,” a nod to the theme song for the state of West Virginia, which has been played at every home game since 1972.
The look is complete with the Flying “WV” inside a state outline on the right hip of the pants, as well as the gold and blue stripes down the sides.
The uniforms are supposed to commemorate the renewal of the “Backyard Brawl,” which hasn’t been played since 2011. The Panthers hold a 61-40-3 advantage over the Mountaineers in the rivalry, which dates back to 1895 but was interrupted by conference realignment.
“The football series with Pitt is one of the oldest and best rivalries in college football, and there was great sportsmanship and camaraderie between the two schools to get this game back on the schedule,” athletic director Shane Lyons said in a press release. “The game is a win for both schools, and we took this opportunity to showcase the renewal with a special uniform that not only highlights the country roads of West Virginia, but the proximity between the two universities connected by Interstate 79.”
The alternate uniforms bring to mind when the Mountaineers wore coal-themed Nike Pro Combat uniforms against the Panthers, who donned steel-themed uniforms, for their 2010 matchup. West Virginia beat Pittsburgh, 35-10, that afternoon but then fell to N.C. State in the Champs Sports Bowl, 23-7, while wearing the same uniforms.
“It will be neat for our players to wear this special edition ‘Country Roads’ uniform and to experience the rivalry with Pitt,” head coach Neal Brown said. “This game is good for college football, and I know our players and coaches are looking forward to visiting Heinz Field and renewing this historic game.”
Photos courtesy of @WVUfootball on Twitter.