The Gophers are headed to the Quick Lane Bowll and facing the Chippewas of Central Michigan. The game is a week away and here are things that you need to know.
NOTE: Please read to the bottom where there is a ticket opportunity for anyone who may be thinking of attending the game.
WHEN: December 28th
TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Detroit, MI, Ford Field
SPONSOR: Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Quick Lane has chosen to work with Disabled American Veterans as part of their bowl sponsorship. Through the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl, Quick Lane will help raise awareness and funds to support DAV's focus of empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. DAV is the longest-running veterans' advocacy and assistance group in the United States. It has never wavered from its core mission to fulfill our country's promises to the men and women who served.
It should also be noted that only at the Quick Lane Bowl will players receive custom-made, life-size decal in their likeness. If the media were getting one of these, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
Lastly, I'd like to point out that Herman Moore has been chosen as this year's spokesman for the Quick Lane Bowl Moore was a stalwart on some of my very first fantasy football teams.
Central Michigan Chippewas finished this year with a 6-2 record in the MAC and finished 7-5 overall. They too played a challenging schedule as they decided to take on Oklahoma State, Michigan State and Syracuse in the non-conference portion of their schedule. They even managed to give OK State a run for a while.
Cooper Rush is a legitimate quarterback and they will test our secondary. Keep an eye on his kid.
Here is what Tracy Claeys said stands out about the opponent in his first bowl game.
"They spread the ball out all over. I think they had five receivers that had over 500 yards. They do a nice job of controlling the ball through the air and getting it in space. Defensively, they don't give you anything easily. They make you earn every yard you get. So they're very well-coached and disciplined and they play hard. That's why they've had the type of season that they've had."
CMU is coached by John Bonamego who has dealt with some health adversity this season as well so his team is no stranger to adversity. His comments on facing the Gophers.
"We're really, tremendously excited to have this opportunity to play a quality opponent like the University of Minnesota, a Big Ten team. It's one of the ways we try to measure ourselves. We want to measure ourselves against the very best, and certainly, what Minnesota's been able to accomplish this season under very, very difficult circumstances, it's a little bit of a parallel to what we've gone through. Our team has gone through a tremendous amount of adversity this year, as has Minnesota."
A very detailed statistical breakdown can be found here.
What Does This Mean?
Very little if you ask me. This may become another post but the result of a bowl game is pretty close to meaningless if my opinion. The extra practices are a good thing, I do see the value in those but it also doesn't necessarily translate into future success. The experience for the players is great, these are kids playing football and getting to go on a trip is a great memory for all of them. I am all for going to a bowl, just not convinced it does much for the program one way or the other.
Case in point...last year's Quick Lane Bowl winner was Rutgers. Remember how Syracuse beat the Gophers in the Texas Bowl two years ago? They are looking for a new coach after going backwards from there.
What do you think? I believe this is a game where we lean on the Chippewas and our running game racks up a lot of yards. The advanced stats link says one of our biggest advantages will come on passing downs when our defensive line has a chance to get to the QB and bring him down. Having ample time to rest and heal, I like our chances with both the offensive and defensive lines having success next week. Their offensive strength plays right into our defensive strength, I like our chances.
What say you?
If you are thinking of going to the game and are looking for tickets...say so in the comments but I expect a funny Meme or Gif to go along with your request.
*Tickets were given to me as part of the Quick Lane Bowl Preferred Blogger Program. We have partnered with them however no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions are fully my own.