In collaboration with M!KEDROPSPORTS

Quick Lane Bowl

Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-6) vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-5)

Date: Wednesday December 26 at 5:15 ET

Location: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

Bowl history

Originated: 2014 

History of Conferences: Big Ten and ACC are both 2-1 all-time but have split each head-to-head conference matchup in this game 

Last year’s game: Duke beat Northern Illinois 36-14

Minnesota bowl history

Minnesota is 7-12 all-time in bowl games. Former coach Tracy Claeys led them to back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016 (their last appearance). The 2015 win snapped a seven game bowl losing streak and during that streak, they allowed 30+ points in five of the seven games. In the two recent wins, they only allowed an average of 13 points. This is the Gophers second appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl, they beat Central Michigan in 2015. 

In his second year with the Gophers, this is PJ Fleck’s first bowl appearance since the 2016 Cotton Bowl when he coached Western Michigan to a perfect regular season.

Georgia Tech bowl history

This will be Georgia Techs ninth and final bowl game under coach Paul Johnson. They are 3-5 in those bowl games, including one BCS game appearance in the 2009 season in the Orange Bowl. Georgia Tech missed a bowl in 2017 and last appeared in 2016, beating Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl. The 2013 Music City Bowl was the last time GT lost (to Ole Miss). Yellow Jackets rank ninth all-time with 23 bowl wins and have appeared in 41 total bowls.

 Series history

The Quick Lane Bowl will be the first all-time meeting between these schools.

Game Notes

Players to watch

Minnesota: Tyler Johnson, WR

Georgia Tech: TaQuon Marshall, QB

Georgia Tech

The Jackets recovered nicely from a 1-3 start to win six of their final eight games and finish 7-5. The two games following their 1-3 start saw Tech score 63 and 66 points in wins over Bowling Green and Louisville. It’s the eighth time in 11 years a Paul Johnson GT team has won seven or more games. 

This will be Johnson’s final game at Georgia Tech, and likely the final of his career. He is 82-59 since 2008 with the Yellow Jackets and 189-98 overall including his stops at Georgia Southern and Navy. 

The Jackets average 335 rushing yards per game and this could be the final time fans see the triple option offense run by Georgia Tech. 

Minnesota

In order for the Gophers to get their sixth win, it required going to Madison, WI and beating the Badgers for the first time in 15 years, which they did quite handily, 37-15.

It was a weird season for Minnesota. They gave up 53 points to Nebraska, giving the Huskers their first win of the year after starting 0-6. The Gophers gave up 55 points to a four-win Illinois that never scored more than 38 point. They beat Mountain West Champs, Fresno State earlier in the season and also blew out Purdue, 41-10.

Final Analysis

As far as final send offs for coaches go? Well, this probably isn’t the best for Paul Johnson, but Georgia Tech has a good chance to win eight games to close out his career against a Big Ten opponent. 

For more college football talk, you can follow me at M!KEDROPSPORTS, on twitter @msschneid or instagram @mikedropsports

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