Minnesota’s Secret Weapon Against West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers (6-6) will travel to Phoenix, Arizona to play the 8-4 Minnesota Gophers on December 28th in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Interestingly, a member of the West Virginia staff could be on the Gophers’ sideline for the bowl game.  Kirk Ciarrocca, an offensive analyst for the Mountaineers, is expected to be hired as the new offensive coordinator for Minnesota over the next couple of days.

Ciarrocca, who was Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck’s offensive coordinator for seven combined seasons between Western Michigan and Minnesota, has been reported to be close to accepting the job to join back up with Fleck.

If this happens prior to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, Minnesota would have a tremendous advantage, as Ciarrocca was not only given a lot of credit for the turnaround of the West Virginia offense in the second half of the season, he also has intimate knowledge of the Mountaineers’ personnel and of what West Virginia does offensively.

Ciarrocca is one of the most experienced and respected offensive minds in college football, and he certainly should have been in consideration to be the new offensive coordinator at West Virginia University.

However, it appears that Neal Brown is comfortable with how his offense performed, despite being the 77th best offensive team in the nation in terms of yards per game and 97th in the country in rushing yards with only 128.2 yards per game.

Instead of retaining an experienced, proven offensive coordinator like Ciarrocca, it appears that Brown will continue to share play-calling duties with wide receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator Gerad Parker, who has no experience as an offensive coordinator prior to this season.