Minnesota’s second consecutive bowl win was won thanks to multiple standout performances. One of the best was put on by linebacker Blake Cashman. The walk-on LB was everywhere, closing with speed and making plays. Cashman finished the game with 12 tackles (9 of them solo) and 1 sack. In recognition of this performance he was named the defensive MVP of the Holiday Bowl.
No one on the offensive side of the ball was quite as dominant for Minnesota, but Rodney Smith’s solid performance earned him the offensive MVP honors. Smith rushed 17 times for 74 yards (4.4 ypc) and his late touchdown sealed the win for the Gophers.