Minnesota OC Kirk Ciarrocca: Gophers 'got to do what we do' against strong Penn State defense
Minnesota is gearing up for its toughest test of the season, but offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is not about to drastically shake things up just for a new opponent.
Saturday’s game is shaping up to be a good one with a strong Gophers run game going against an elite Penn State rush defense. Minnesota enters the game while averaging over 200 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lion defense is allowing just 68.9 yards per game with 2.0 yards per carry.
The challenge is obviously a huge one. However, Ciarrocca believes the matchup ultimately still comes down to Minnesota executing its gameplan better than Penn State.
Ryan Burns with the Gopher Illustrated shared Ciarrocca’s comments from his Wednesday press conference:
“I think that this might surprise you guys a little bit, but we got to do what we do,” said Ciarrocca. “We just have to do what we do, better than what they do what they do.”
Ciarrocca went on to later reiterate that the Gophers will look to create favorable matchups offensively, but they will still create those matchups within the framework of what they traditionally do. Anyone expecting to see a lot of special changes for the game will be disappointed:
“Again, we’re going to do what we do and try to create a favorable matchups as you can,” explained Ciarrocca.
“But they’re really good. So without getting into the overall strategy of it, if you’re coming into this game expecting to see a different offense, you’re not. You’re going to be disappointed. You’re going to see what we do, and what you’ve seen over the course of my three years here with it, but they create some very big challenges for us…”
Hopefully, the Gophers come out and make a statement against James Franklin and the Nittany Lions. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 12 pm EST on ABC.