The West Virginia University Alumni Association is betting a symbol of the states storied moonshine past on the 95th Backyard Brawl.

The Alumni Association will award the Founders Jug to the winner of the WVU -Pitt football game, which gets under way at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The gesture is to match the renewed spirit in the gridiron rivalry; WVU and Pitt have identical records (8-3, 5-1), are both ranked in the top 25 in the nation for the first time in more than a decade and share second place in the Big East standings.

“The Founders Jug goes back to before the turn of the century when spirits would be distilled in the West Virginia hills, corked in a clay vase and transported up the Monongahela River to Pittsburgh,”said Steve Douglas, executive director of the WVU Alumni Association.”The contents of the jug are long gone but the spirit of tradition remains.

“The Founders Jug has been on the shelves of the Alumni Association since 1873,”Douglas added.”Weve dusted off the jug and polished it up for the big game. We are so confident of the Mountaineers victory that we are wagering one of our most valuable possessions as a prize. Touting the Founders Jug is a much safer alternative than a goal post.”

Pitt leads the overall series, which dates back to 1895, 58-33-3. The game will be played for the first time in Heinz Field, a facility Pitt shares with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Thousands of Mountaineer fans are expected to make the trek into the Three Rivers area. They will gather for pre-game revelry in the Station Square Area of the city. For information on events and activities, contact the WVU Alumni Association at 304-293-4731 or on the Web at