We hope punter Jacob Herbers enjoyed his trip to Detroit and the festivities at Ford Field.
His services were not needed during the Minnesota Gophers’ 34-10 rout of Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl, the first postseason test of the P.J. Fleck era.
Six of the Gophers’ eight possessions Wednesday night resulted in points. The other two? A missed 54-yard field-goal attempt by Emmit Carpenter late in the first half, and two plays out of the victory formation to close out the win. Herbers hasn’t been called upon to punt since the first half of Minnesota’s 37-15 victory over Wisconsin on Nov. 24. It’s the first time this century that the Gophers haven’t punted in a game.
The defense set the tone from the start, forcing the Yellow Jackets to go three-and-out on their first two offensive possessions. Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense (dubbed the “flexbone”) gained just 206 rushing yards. It was just the third time all season the Yellow Jackets have been held to under 210 yards on the ground — the other two games were against powerhouses Clemson and Georgia.
It was a complete and (here it comes) “elite” effort for Fleck’s bunch, which has now strung together a pair of impressive wins to help refresh the program’s trophy case.
All of a sudden, the Gophers — the same team that dropped four straight games and was reeling with a 3-4 record in late October — are rowing into the offseason with a winning record and a bright future.
Leon Halip Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports