The fifth Annual Quick Lane Bowl, held at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, was played on December 26th, 2018 between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota was heading back to Detroit for the second time in four seasons after winning the Quick Lane Bowl in 2015 against Central Michigan. Led by second year head coach, P.J. Fleck, the Gophers were coming off a 6-6 regular season record finishing 3-6 in the Big Ten. To become bowl eligible, Minnesota won their final game and snapped a 14-game losing streak against Wisconsin. Georgia Tech entered the game with a record of 7-5 (5-3 in the ACC) and finished the season winning six of their last eight games after starting 1-4. For the Yellow Jackets, this was a farewell game for head coach Paul Johnson who was set to retire at the end of this season.
In the first possession of the game, Minnesota tried to establish the run early. Led by redshirt freshman running back, Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota drove the ball into Georgia Tech territory rushing on seven of their first nine plays. The scoring opened with a 31-yard field goal by Minnesota kicker Emmit Carpenter with under 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
After a quick three and out for Georgia Tech, Minnesota promptly responded with a seven play, 48-yard drive that ended with quarterback Tanner Morgan finding junior wide receiver Tyler Johnson for an 18-yard touchdown giving the Gophers an early 10-0 lead.
The Gophers were able to tack on three more points after a Carpenter field goal with twelve minutes to go in the first half. On the next possession, Georgia Tech executed their best drive of the half, stringing together a pair of first downs led by quarterback TaQuon Marshall but eventually would give the ball back to the Gophers without converting any points.
After a missed field goal attempt by Carpenter from 54-yards out, Georgia Tech had a chance to get on the scoreboard before halftime. With 18 seconds to go, Georgia Tech completed two first downs leading to a 44-yard field goal by kicker Wesley Wells as time expired in the first half.
With a 13-3 lead going into the second half, Minnesota was the team who struck first. Morgan completed a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell inside the three-yard line setting up Mohamed Ibrahim for his first rushing score of the day. Georgia Tech, however, would respond with a 14 play, 75-yard drive capped off with a 20-yard touchdown by running back Nathan Cottrell making the score 20-10 in favor of the Gophers.
On the ensuing drive for Minnesota, Ibrahim broke away for a 57-yard run, his longest of the game, inside Georgia Tech territory as the 3rd quarter ended. This set up Ibrahim's second rushing touchdown giving the Gophers a 27-10 lead. With under 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, Minnesota added to their lead when Morgan found Tyler Johnson for a 30-yard receiving touchdown, his second of the day.
Minnesota would eventually hold on in the final minutes and claim their second Quick Lane Bowl Championship with a 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech. Coach P.J. Fleck and the Gophers would finish the season at 7-6, winning three of their last four games. For Coach Paul Johnson, his final season with the Yellow Jackets would end with a 7-6 record.
MVP: Mohamed Ibrahim (224 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns)
Kickoff: 5:20 PM
|Tanner Morgan (MINN)
|TaQuon Marshall (GT)
|Mohamed Ibrahim (MINN)
|TaQuon Marshall (GT)
|Tyler Johnson (MINN)
|Qua Searcy (GT)