Minnesota Golden Gophers finally win a bowl game again


Minnesota Golden Gophers break their bowl losing streak with a victory in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday with a 21-14 victory.

The last time the Gophers won a bowl game was 2004. That was two head coaches ago with Glen Mason at the helm. In 2004 the Gophers beat Alabama, in 2015 the Gophers beat the Central Michigan Chippewas.

Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner was named the game’s MVP with a nice afternoon in Detroit. Leidner went 24/30 for 223 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Leidner also ran for a touchdown in a game where he raked up 19 rushing yards.

Leidner’s main target on Monday afternoon was KJ Maye. Maye notched eight catches for 67 yards and was on the receiving end of the Minnesota touchdown in the air. Brandon Lingen had five catches in the game.

Minnesota went into the fourth quarter with a 13-7 lead, but it didn’t take long for Central Michigan to take a 14-13 lead and give Gopher fans instant flashbacks to the blown bowl games of the Jerry Kill era, but Tracy Claeys wasn’t kicking off his bowl era like that.

Leidner scampered for his touchdown on a 13-yard run with 4:26 left in the game to give the Gophers the lead back. Leidner then connected with Maye once again in the endzone for a two-point conversion to give Minnesota a 21-14 lead.

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The Gophers got to seal the game after a Briean Boddy-Calhoun interception late in the fourth quarter.

We need to mention how great of a game punter Peter Mortell had. Mortell had 184 yards of punting yards on four punts and all four punts pinned the Chippewas inside the 20. It was just an absolutely beautiful punting performance. Mortell will be a great pickup for an NFL team this upcoming draft.

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With the victory, Claeys was given a bath of Gatorade and Gophers fan were given something to smile about heading into the offseason.