Official: WVU heading to Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Gold and Blue Nation

Mountaineers to face Minnesota in third appearance in Phoenix-based bowl

Neal Brown with offense squad

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU football’s postseason matchup is officially locked in.

Coming off a 6-6 regular season, Neal Brown and the Mountaineers will take on Minnesota (8-4) in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 28 in Phoenix, Arizona. That showdown will mark the first meeting between the two programs.

The Mountaineers finished the regular season by winning back-to-back games, as well as four of their last six contests. Minnesota, meanwhile, is coming off a rivalry win over Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers have also won four of their final six games.

West Virginia has played in two previous versions of this bowl game. The Mountaineers defeated Arizona State on Jan. 2, 2016, when the game was known as the Cactus Bowl. Skylar Howard threw for 532 yards and five touchdowns in the 43-42 win over the Sun Devils.

Both of those individual feats are records for the bowl game.

Prior to that, West Virginia fell to No. 23 Missouri in the 1998 installment of the bowl, which was held in Tucson, Arizona. Quarterback Marc Bulger was named the game’s Offensive MVP, but the Mountaineers came up three points short on the scoreboard against the Tigers, who were then members of the Big 12, falling 34-31.

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl was not played last season.

Kickoff between the Mountaineers and Golden Gophers is set for 10:15 p.m. ET from Chase Field. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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