GOPHERS OFFENSE VS. YELLOW JACKETS DEFENSE

QB Tanner Morgan improved as the season progressed. He has explosive weapons in receivers Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman (a combined 123 catches, 1,782 yards, 16 TDs). Freshman Mohamed Ibrahim has emerged as a move-the-chains back. Tech’s defense allows 28.9 points per game, 80th nationally. Advantage: Gophers

SPECIAL TEAMS

Georgia Tech’s Wesley Walls is 8-for-8 on field goals, punter Pressley Harvin III averages 44.3 yards per attempt. The Gophers’ Demetrius Douglas is a TD threat on punt and kickoff returns. Advantage: Georgia Tech

PLAYER TO WATCH

With the Yellow Jackets using a triple-option offense, the Gophers will have several players to watch. The most productive of those is senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall, who has rushed for a team-high 896 yards. Marshall has 824 yards and five TDs passing.

THE OPPONENT

Georgia Tech won its final four ACC games before falling 45-21 to SEC runner-up Georgia. The Quick Lane Bowl will be the final game for veteran coach Paul Johnson, who is retiring. Johnson, 61, has guided Tech to a 3-5 record in bowls, and his team is making its return to a bowl game after a one-year absence.

GOPHERS DEFENSE VS. YELLOW JACKETS OFFENSE

Facing a triple-option offense will be new for the Gophers, and Georgia Tech’s is especially solid, leading the nation with 334.9 rushing yards per game. With Gophers LB Blake Cashman leaving early to prepare for the NFL, Julian Huff will have to fill that void, as he did well at Wisconsin. Advantage: Georgia Tech

INTANGIBLES

The Yellow Jackets want to send Johnson out with a win, but the Gophers hit their stride in the final three weeks of the season and looked like a team with a bright future. Advantage: Gophers

RJ’S PREDICTION

Gophers 31, Georgia Tech 27

Georgia Tech’s triple option will be a challenge, but Minnesota’s offense can play ball-control, too.