Gophers to play West Virginia in Guaranteed Rate Bowl Dec. 28

After finishing the regular season 8-4 Minnesota will be playing West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Head Coach P.J. Fleck prepares to run onto the field with the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. The Gophers defeated Maryland 52-10 bringing their record to 8-0

Sydni Rose

Head Coach P.J. Fleck prepares to run onto the field with the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. The Gophers defeated Maryland 52-10 bringing their record to 8-0

by Tony Liebert, Sports Reporter

After completing the 2021 season with an emphatic win over Wisconsin, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy first reported that the 8-4 Golden Gophers will be traveling to Phoenix, Ariz. to take on 6-6 West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl has been played in Arizona since the 1989 season. It has previously been named the Copper Bowl, the Insight.com Bowl, the Insight Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the Cactus Bowl, and the Cheez-It Bowl. 2021 will be its first season under the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

After Big Ten teams Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa were placed in their respective bowl games, the Gophers finally had their turn.

Fellow Big Ten West teams Wisconsin and Purdue will both be playing on Dec. 30 in the Las Vegas Bowl and Music City Bowl respectively, while 7-5 Penn State will be playing on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl.

Bowl selection is a subjective process, but it seems as if Minnesota was deemed to be next in line, accepting an invitation to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 28.

After losing seven consecutive bowl games from the 2005 to the 2015 season, the Gophers have two consecutive bowl games under head coach P.J. Fleck.

This season’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl will be the Gophers first since Jan. 1 2020 when they defeated Auburn 31-24 in the Outback Bowl.