On December 28th, 2015, the second Annual Quick Lane Bowl was played between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Central Michigan Chippewas at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
Coming into the game Minnesota was coming off of a 5-7 regular season and a mid-season coaching change due to health concerns for former coach Jerry Kill. Central Michigan entered the game with a 7-5 record while their head coach John Bonamego battled and beat cancer in his left tonsil during his first season at Central Michigan. For both teams this was an opportunity to finish their season on a high note after facing plenty of adversity.
After receiving the ball first, Minnesota was able to immediately move the ball by having a nine-play, 70 yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes. Central Michigan though was successfully able to keep the Golden Gophers out of the end zone which led to Minnesota settling for a 22-yard field goal from kicker Ryan Santoso.
After having their first drive stall out, Central Michigan was able to respond to Minnesota on their second drive of the game with a one-yard rush from quarterback Cooper Rush to start off the 2nd quarter, making the score 7-3 in favor of the Chippewas.
That lead for Central Michigan did not last for long though as the Golden Gophers drove the ball down the field for a 72-yard drive, and they were able to capitalize this time with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mitch Leidner to receiver KJ Maye to make the score 10-7 in favor of the Golden Gophers. That touchdown ended up being the final points either team scored for the quarter, and Minnesota went into halftime with a 10-7 lead.
After another Santoso field goal in the 3rd quarter to make the score 13-7 for Minnesota, Central Michigan was finally able to respond in the 4th quarter with a 13-yard touchdown run from running back Romello Ross, giving the Chippewas their first lead of the game with 11:08 remaining in the game.
Minnesota once again, was able to respond on their following drive. After leading the team down the field for nearly seven minutes, Leidner was able to find the end zone for the Golden Gophers with a 13-yard touchdown run with 4:26 remaining. The Gophers then successfully converted their two-point conversion and led the game 21-13.
On their following drive, Central Michigan was able to move the ball into Minnesota territory, but soon gave the ball back to Minnesota after an interception by Briean Brady-Calhoun. Central Michigan did have one more chance to tie the game after forcing Minnesota to punt, but with only thirteen seconds remaining. On the final drive Minnesota was able to prevent any last-second miracle from Central Michigan and held on to win the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl 21-13.
MVP: Mitch Leidner (223 yards passing, one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown)
Kickoff: 5:00 PM
|Mitch Leidner (UMN)||24/30||223||1||1|
|Cooper Rush (CMU)||15/29||145||0||1|
|Romello Ross (CMU)||19||100||1||5.1|
|Rodney Smith (UMN)||15||74||0||4.9|
|KJ Maye (UMN)||8||67||1||8.4|
|Corey Willis (CMU)||4||51||0||12.8|