Milan Puskar Stadium
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ORANGE BOWL MATCHUP
Clemson Tigers vs West Virginia Mountaineers
Jan. 4, 2012 | 8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Stadium Guide: Orange Bowl
Year Opened: 1980 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
Although West Virginia's stadium name was changed to Milan Puskar Stadium after the local businessman and philanthropist donated $20 million to the school in 2004, many fans still refer to the stadium as Mountaineer Field.
The venue opened in 1980 after West Virginia played at the original Mountaineer Field in downtown Morgantown from 1924 to 1979. The new stadium was built on the former Morgantown Country Club north of the downtown campus.
Every seat at Milan Puskar Stadium has an unobstructed view. A state-of-the-art video board was added in 2008. On game days, Morgantown is called the largest city in West Virginia, as fans from around the state contribute to make the stadium's population alone surpass that of each of the Mountain State's two largest cities -- Charleston and Huntington.
The Mountaineer has been the school's mascot since 1890 and began appearing at events in 1936. Each year a new Mountaineer is chosen and receives a scholarship, a buckskin outfit, coonskin hat, rifle and powder horn. A blank shot is discharged from the rifle at the start of games and after every West Virginia score. The Mountaineers were originally known as the Snakes.
The band has played "Take Me Home, Country Roads" at every home game since 1972. While it is not the official school song, it is considered the theme song of the university. One of the stadium's many highlights was when John Denver, one of the song's composers and singer, unexpectedly showed up to perform the tune at the stadium's dedication on Sept. 6, 1980. The 390-member WVU band, also known as the "The Pride of West Virginia," forms the signature outline of the state border near the end of the song and marches from one end zone to the other. In recent years, the players also have led the crowd in singing the song after a victory.
The "Backyard Brawl" is the annual meeting between West Virginia and Pitt, which is located about 70 miles away. Started in 1895, the tilt is considered the 14th oldest rivalry game in college football. Pitt leads the series 61-39-3. According to the school's alumni site, the Backyard Brawl intensified during the Prohibition era when "dry" Morgantown students would travel to Pennsylvania for drinks.
"Let's Go ... Mountaineers" is a cheer that usually pits one side of the stadium against the other. With one half chanting "Let's Go" and the other "Mountaineers," sometimes for long periods of time.
Source: West Virginia University
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