Minnesota to play in the Quick Lane Bowl

The game will be the first bowl game for the Gophers since 2016.

Gopher defense celebrates a fourth down stop at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Saturday, Nov. 24. The Gophers beat the Badgers 37-15 for the first time since 2003.

Tony Saunders

Gopher defense celebrates a fourth down stop at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Saturday, Nov. 24. The Gophers beat the Badgers 37-15 for the first time since 2003.

Paul Hodowanic

Minnesota’s season isn’t done just yet. 

After the Gophers guaranteed themselves a bowl game with a 37-15 victory over Wisconsin, the team learned Sunday that they will travel to Detroit to play in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 against Georgia Tech.

The Gophers last played in the Quick Lane Bowl in 2015, where they won 21-14 over Central Michigan. Then-quarterback Mitch Leidner threw for 223 yards for a touchdown and an interception and added a rushing touchdown, earning the MVP of the game. 

The Quick Lane Bowl will mark the first bowl game in P.J. Fleck’s tenure and first for the Gophers since 2016. 

“[It’s an] incredible venue, incredible opponent in Georgia Tech,” Fleck said. “I’m really proud of our football team. A team that found a way to get 6-6 … I think this team has overachieved in a lot of areas and I’m very excited about having the opportunity to get the extra practices.”

The Gophers finished the season 6-6 and 3-6 in the Big Ten. The team is coming off a win against Wisconsin that clinched bowl-eligibility.

Georgia Tech finished the season 7-5 overall and was 5-3 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets finished the season strong, winning four of their last five games to earn a bowl berth. 

Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense presents a different challenge for the Gophers. Fleck admitted that the style will necessitate some changes on defense. The Yellow Jackets average more than 35 points and 200 rushing yards per game.

“Georgia Tech presents a lot of different challenges, where you have to switch up your defense and not necessarily play your own defense,” Fleck said. “It’s very different … when you get a triple-option team everything changes. Now people are going to play possibly different positions … it completely changes the style.”

The Yellow Jackets have four different players with over 100 rushing attempts on the year, with two rushing for over 800 yards. 

“We are excited for our fans, excited for our state, to be bowling again … it’s a huge accomplishment for this program and this individual team,” Fleck said.