When it came to filling a hole on its coaching staff, Penn State didn’t have to look outside of the Big Ten to find Kirk Ciarrocca.
Thursday morning, Penn State announced that it has hired Ciarrocca as James Franklin‘s new offensive coordinator. Ciarrocca will also coach the Nittany Lions’ quarterbacks.
The Pennsylvania native replaces Ricky Rahne, who left earlier this month for the head job at Old Dominion.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring in someone of Kirk’s caliber to our Penn State football family,” Franklin said. “He is a veteran coordinator who also has deep Pennsylvania roots and ties. His most recent successes as an offensive coordinator caught our eye. What impressed me most about Kirk in the hiring process was his humility and his willingness to make this an easy transition for our players. We are thrilled to welcome Kirk and his family home to Pennsylvania and to Happy Valley!”
Ciarocca spent the past three seasons as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Minnesota. Prior to that, he was P.J. Fleck‘s coordinator at Western Michigan for four years (2013-16).
“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work at a program as rich in tradition as Penn State University,” Ciarrocca said. “It is an honor and a privilege to join Coach Franklin’s staff and to work alongside such a successful head football coach. Having grown up a Penn State fan, I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your offensive coordinator. My family and I are overjoyed to be coming home to Happy Valley.”
The scheduling tear for Troy football continues.
Troy and UAB announced a future home-and-home football series in early May. Then another earlier this month. In between, future games versus Missouri (HERE), Iowa (HERE) and Army (HERE) were added as well. Late last week, Troy was at it again as the football program confirmed yet another home-and-home, this one with UMass.
Friday, Troy announced yet another future matchup. According to a release, the Sun Belt Conference school will square off with Nicholls State Aug. 30 of 2025. The matchup with the FCS opponent will be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.
The two programs, former conference rivals, are very familiar with one another. From the school’s release on the renewal:
Troy and Nicholls State have a long history dating back to 1973 and continuing through Troy’s years as a member of the Southland Conference. The Trojans have enjoyed the upper hand with a 20-6-1 advantage in the series including four straight victories before the series halted in 2001.
After winning 10-plus games in three straight seasons from 2016-18, Troy tumbled to a 5-7 record in 2019. That was the Trojans’ first season under Chip Lindsey. Lindsey replaced Neal Brown, who left to take the head job at West Virginia.
After landing a couple early on in the offseason, Georgia State football finds itself on the wrong side of the portal this go ’round.
According to 247Sports.com, offensive tackle Connor Robbins has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database. While he didn’t confirm it on his personal Twitter account, the Georgia State football player did retweet the report.
The 6-9, 310-pound lineman will be leaving the Panthers as a graduate transfer.
Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.
As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.
NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.
Robbins was a three-star member of the Georgia State football Class of 2017. He was the highest-rated signee for the Panthers that cycle.
Robbins took a redshirt as a true freshman. The past two seasons, the Florida native played in 15 games. Most of that action, though, came on the point-after and field goal units.
In the third season under Shawn Elliott, GSU went 7-6 this past year. It was a five-win improvement from the 2-10 record the year before. In Elliott’s first season, the Panthers went 7-5. The seven wins are the best-ever for the Georgia State football program since moving to the FBS level in 2013.
The Power Five transfer train has officially made yet another stop at the Tulane football program.
In late March, Ajani Kerr entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. Three months later, Tulane confirmed in a release that the Georgia Tech defensive back has officially signed and been added to the football roster.
Kerr comes to the Green Wave as a graduate transfer. This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.
Kerr was a two-star member of Tech’s 2016 recruiting class coming out of high school in Georgia. After redshirting as a true freshman, Kerr played in 29 games the past three seasons. Five of those appearances came in 2019.
In that action, Kerr had been credited with 66 tackles (55 solo, 11 assisted) and one fumble recovery.
Kerr is one of four Power Five transfers to join Tulane football this offseason.
Jan. 24, Tulane football officially welcomed Oklahoma State transfer linebacker Kevin Henry. Four days later, former Oklahoma wide receiver Mykel Jones was formally added to the roster as well. In late January, Florida State cornerback Kyle Meyers tweeted his move to the Green Wave. Last month, Tulane confirmed the signing of Duke transfer offensive lineman Jaylen Miller.
Additionally, running back Corey Dauphine was granted a sixth season of eligibility in March. Dauphine has been the Green Wave’s second-leading rusher each of the past two seasons.
Not surprisingly, it will pay handsomely for Clemson and Georgia to open up next season’s slate.
In February of this year, both Clemson and Georgia announced that the two football programs will kick off the 2021 season against each other. The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4.
According to information obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald, “[e]ach school will receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue” for the non-conference, neutral-site affair. The Banner-Herald added that “[p]art of the event’s revenue is expected to be generated by media rights, ticket sales and sponsorships.”
The fact that each school will receive at least $4 million will help to offset the cost of getting this game on the schedule. To make room for the non-conference matchup, Clemson canceled a previously-scheduled tilt with Wyoming while Georgia did the same with one against San Jose State. Because of the cancellation, Clemson will pay Wyoming $1.1 million and Georgia will cut San Jose State a $1.8 million check.
That said, it’s the cost of putting on such a quality matchup. One that has been and will continue to be must-see TV for the foreseeable future.
Along with the addition of a new home-and-home announced in April of last year, the Tigers and Bulldogs are now scheduled to face each other six times between 2021 and 2033, including the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. There’s also a previously announced home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Georgia).
The two football programs have met 64 times previously, the first in 1897 and the most recent in 2014. UGA leads the all-time series 42-18-4.