- photo opportunities with the QLB trophy
- live entertainment
- karaoke for cash
- long jump and more
- Thunder Sticks
- roster cards
Food and Beverage
- hot dog eating contest
- Blitz Specials ($2 hotdogs, $2 water, $3 well drinks and domestic beer)
- team-themed specialty cocktails
Official Alumni Watching Party
Paul Johnson to lead Jackets for final time at Quick Lane Bowl
THE FLATS – Paul Johnson, a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year and Georgia Tech’s winningest football coach in more than five decades, has elected to step down as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach, he announced Nov. 28.
“After 40 years of coaching, it’s time to take a break,” Johnson said. “My family has sacrificed a lot over the years. I want to watch my daughter [Kaitlyn, a professional opera singer] perform and do some things with my wife [Susan] that we’ve never had a chance to do. It’s been a great run for the last 11 years here on The Flats. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and am looking forward to having the chance to coach this team one last time at our bowl game next month.”
With an 82-59 record in 11 seasons at Georgia Tech, Johnson is the fourth-winningest coach in school history in terms of both victories and winning percentage (.582). The only coaches that have ever won more games at Georgia Tech — John Heisman, William Alexander and Bobby Dodd — are all inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame and only Dodd won more games (91) than Johnson in his first 11 seasons on The Flats.
After 40 years of coaching, it’s time to take a break. My family has sacrificed a lot over the years. I want to watch my daughter perform and do some things with my wife that we’ve never had a chance to do.
In addition to the 82 victories, Johnson has led Georgia Tech to nine bowl appearances (2008-14, 2016 and 2018) and three ACC Championship Games (2009, 2012 and 2014), as well as seven first- or second-place finishes in the ACC Coastal Division in his 11 seasons with the Yellow Jackets. Since his arrival at Tech in 2008, only Clemson (9), Florida State (7) and Virginia Tech (7) have had as many first- or second-place finishes in ACC divisional play.
He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2014 and was named National Coach of the Year by CBS Sportsline in 2008, marking the second time in his career that he received a National Coach of the Year award (Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year – 2004, Navy).
Johnson’s long list of accomplishments at Georgia Tech also includes:
- winning at least seven regular-season games seven times in 11 seasons — Tech won seven regular-season games 15 times in the 41 seasons from Dodd’s retirement in 1966 until Johnson’s arrival in 2008;
- four nine-win seasons — Tech had just seven nine-win seasons in the 51 years immediately preceding Johnson’s arrival (1957-2007);
- two of the nine 10-win seasons in program history (2009 and 2014);
- one of the five 11-win seasons in program history (2014);
- leading the ACC and ranking among the top 10 nationally in rushing every season;
- leading the nation in rushing offense twice — 2010 (323.3 ypg) and 2014 (342.1 ypg) — and being on pace to do so again in 2018 (334.9 ypg);
- a current NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 86 percent, the highest in Georgia Tech history — prior to Johnson’s arrival at Tech, the football program’s GSR had dipped as low as 48 percent.
Georgia Tech football opened the 2018 season with a shutout over Alcorn State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Georgia Tech scored on its opening possession and never looked back to pick up its first shutout win since a 56-0 whitewashing of Syracuse in 2013, a span of 57 games.
The Yellow Jackets rushed for 439 yards and surrendered just 77 yards on the ground en route to a 543-146 advantage in total yardage.
Blake Barnett passed for one touchdown and ran for two more in the fourth quarter as South Florida overcame a 10-point deficit and defeated Georgia Tech at Raymond James Stadium.
Georgia Tech scored on its first three offensive possessions of the game to counter a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns by the Bulls, and then scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the second half to take a 38-28 lead with 14:15 remaining in the game.
The Yellow Jackets rushed for 419 yards, their second straight game with more than 400 yards, and passed for 183 more, amassing 602 yards in total offense and holding the ball for 35:32 of the 60 minutes. But in the end it was not enough.
Miscues by Georgia Tech would stall its second-half rally as Pitt’s first-half lead allowed it to grab the divisional victory at Heinz Field.
The Panthers built a 21-point advantage off three unanswered touchdowns in the first half. The Yellow Jackets struggled to find rhythm and momentum in the first half, but finally cracked through with a 1-yard touchdown from quarterback TaQuon Marshall with 8:43 left in the third.
It wouldn’t be until Tech free safety Malik Rivera’s third-quarter interception and 42-yard return that set up an eventual 7-yard touchdown for Marshall that the Jackets got within 12.
Georgia Tech was limited to 203 yards of total offense by Clemson’s formidable defense and fell to the No. 3/2-ranked Tigers at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Georgia Tech looked poised to jump out to an early lead when it marched 59 yards to the Clemson 16 on the opening drive of the game but a penalty, fumble, sack and another penalty pushed the Yellow Jackets out of field-goal range. After the teams exchanged punts, another disastrous sequence followed for the Jackets with a fumble, sack and another fumble, the latter of which was recovered by Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell in the end zone to give the Tigers a 7-0 advantage.
From that point, Tech managed just 70 yards over its next seven possessions and fell into a 42-7 hole. The Jackets scored on two of their final four possessions to eclipse the 20-point mark for the 108th time in head coach Paul Johnson’s 133 games as head coach.
Georgia Tech scored on 8-of-10 offensive possessions — including seven straight to start the game — and snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing win over Bowling Green at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Prior to this game, Georgia Tech had never scored a touchdown on every possession of a half in 11 seasons under head coach Paul Johnson. On this day, it scored on every possession through the game’s first three quarters.
Georgia Tech ran for 542 yards — the third-highest total in school history — and scored on nine straight offensive possessions to start the game, en route to a romp over Louisville at Cardinal Stadium.
With the victory, Georgia Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak in games played away from home. It was the Yellow Jackets’ first true road win since a 28-27 triumph at Georgia on Nov. 25, 2016.
Quarterback TaQuon Marshall led the way with 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns in less than three full quarters of action. His replacement, Tobias Oliver, ran for 103 yards and two more scores on just eight carries, giving Georgia Tech two quarterbacks with 100 rushing yards in the same game for the first time in program history.
Georgia Tech fumbled on three consecutive plays, which led to three Duke touchdowns in a span of 1:49 and turned what was a 7-7 game late in the third quarter into a defeat at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Georgia Tech outgained the Blue Devils 354-304, but couldn’t overcome its untimely spate of turnovers with less than three minutes to go in the third period.
Making his first career start, redshirt freshman quarterback Tobias Oliver ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech to an impressive win at Virginia Tech.
Behind Oliver, Georgia Tech became the first visiting team with three straight wins at VT’s Lane Stadium since Miami (Fla.) accomplished the feat in 1967, 1982 and 1992.
A pair of timely interceptions led to Georgia Tech scoring 10 points in the final three minutes of a win at North Carolina.
Georgia Tech led 28-10 midway through the third quarter but North Carolina scored the game’s next 18 points to pull even at 28-28 early in the fourth quarter.
The score remained 28-28 until freshman safety Tariq Carpenter intercepted a pass to give the Yellow Jackets the ball at the North Carolina 41 yard line with 8:07 to go in the game. Nine plays later, redshirt freshman quarterback Tobias Oliver scored his second touchdown of the day from a yard out, and the Jackets regained a 35-28 lead.
Freshman Wesley Wells nailed a 22-yard field goal with 46 seconds to go to seal the victory.
For the 20th time in the last 22 years, Georgia Tech sealed its bowl berth after dropping visiting Miami (Fla.) at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
In his first extensive action since sustaining an upper-body injury versus Duke on Oct. 13, senior quarterback and co-captain TaQuon Marshall accounted for all three of Georgia Tech’s touchdowns in the win.
True freshman Wesley Wells became only the eighth player in Georgia Tech football history to kick four field goals in a game, with the fourth and final one proving to be the difference in the Yellow Jackets’ overtime win over Virginia at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Wells was good on all four of his field goal attempts, including a 48-yarder with 1:04 to go in regulation that gave Georgia Tech a short-lived 27-24 lead and a 40-yarder in overtime that wound up being the game-winning points when Virginia’s Brian Delaney missed wide right to end the thriller.
A record-setting 100-yard kickoff return by Juanyeh Thomas wasn’t enough for Georgia Tech in a loss to No. 5 Georgia at Sanford Stadium.
Thomas’ return pulled Georgia Tech within a touchdown at 14-7 late in the first quarter, but Georgia scored on each of its six possessions in the first half to take an insurmountable 38-7 halftime lead.
Senior Spotlight: Malik Rivera
By: Andy Demetra
This isn’t the first time an outrageous idea was hatched on a whim in a college kid’s dorm room.
“We were sitting in my apartment with my three roommates, all football teammates,” Malik Rivera said, beginning the origin story of how he triple-majored at Wofford College while also playing free safety for the Terriers.
A junior at the time, Rivera was on track to graduate with degrees in mathematics and computer science. He had already taken plenty of finance classes, though, and an idea started to form.
“’I really like these classes I’m in. Why don’t I just try and triple-major in them?’” Rivera recalled telling his roommates. “I said it as a joke. They were like, ‘Yeah, that’s not possible. We don’t have time.’”
Rivera went to his room and sat on his bed. “I pulled out an Excel (spreadsheet) and I was like, ‘Well I know all the classes I’ve taken. Let me at least try and find out, with these three majors, what classes I need left. Once I figured it out and put it all together, I was kind of in amazement that I actually somehow managed to have the last three semesters all perfectly planned out,” he said.
Suddenly, an off-hand remark turned into a challenge Rivera couldn’t resist. The Jacksonville, Fla., native followed through, graduating in May of 2018 with three degrees and 154 credit hours.
So if Malik Rivera was crazy enough to triple-major at Wofford, then joining the Georgia Tech football team as a graduate transfer in June — and jumping into the starting lineup to fill perhaps its greatest void on defense — doesn’t seem so daunting by comparison.
Rivera, now pursuing his master’s in quantitative and computational finance (QCF) in the Scheller College of Business, started all 12 games during the regular season, leading the Yellow Jackets with 61 tackles. He also tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
“Malik played really well. He was consistent in helping people get lined up,” head coach Paul Johnson said following Rivera’s first game, a 41-0 win over Alcorn State.
Despite being a newcomer to The Flats, Rivera’s experience was vital this year for a greenhorn Tech secondary. The Yellow Jackets knew their starters at cornerback and strong safety would have zero combined starts entering the season. They were dealt another blow in May when senior A.J. Gray, a two-year starter at free safety, was medically disqualified due to a heart condition.
"When I knew that Georgia Tech had a quantitative and computational finance program, that was something I just wanted to do."
Georgia Tech didn’t recruit Rivera specifically to replace Gray — he had committed weeks earlier — but his pickup became even more crucial after Gray’s retirement. A veteran of 18 starts at Wofford, he ranked third on the team in tackles (73) as a redshirt junior. He also had plenty of familiarity with the Jackets’ 3-4 defensive scheme, having played in that system at Wofford under current Tech safeties coach Shiel Wood.
Graduate transfers can sometimes be a shotgun marriage: a veteran player, seeking a fresh start and one last chance at meaningful playing time; a school, seeking a quick fix at a position of need. Rivera’s case was more nuanced. After Wofford lost in the quarterfinals of the 2017 FCS playoffs last December, he thought he may have played his last game.
“The idea definitely floated through my mind,” he said.
Ultimately, the allure of playing his final year of eligibility won out. When it came to finding a new school, having Wood at Georgia Tech certainly helped. But another Wofford connection proved just as powerful in landing Rivera on The Flats. Cole Higbie, a former Terriers teammate whose grandfather played football at Georgia Tech, was already enrolled in Tech’s QCF program. He sang its praises to Rivera.
“If I am going to get my Master’s, I do want it to be in something I really want,” Rivera said. “When I knew that Georgia Tech had a quantitative and computational finance program, that was something I just wanted to do.”
His commitment to both programs has worked out well. On the field, he’s provided a veteran presence at Gray’s old position, helping the young Tech secondary navigate a new scheme. Off the field, he has balanced football with master’s courses like Corporate Restructuring and Machine Learning for Trading, a curriculum he hopes will lead him to a career in investment banking.
At the moment, though, Rivera’s analytical skills are in greater demand Dec. 26, where he’ll anchor the Yellow Jackets’ secondary one last time against Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl. It may be a tall order against the Golden Gophers, which scored 37 points in a season-ending win over Wisconsin to secure bowl eligibility.
Then again, if the challenge ever feels too daunting, Rivera can always turn to an old spreadsheet for inspiration.
“I still have the Excel,” he said of the chart that began his triple-major odyssey at Wofford.
“I look through it sometimes now and think, ‘How did I actually map it out enough?’”
TaQuon Marshall: 194 carries for 896 yds. | 4.6 avg. | 81.5 ypg | 11 TDs
Tobias Oliver: 143 carries for 807 yds. | 5.6 avg. | 73.4 ypg | 12 TDs
Jordan Mason: 103 carries for 640 yds. | 6.2 avg. | 53.3 ypg | 7 TDs
TaQuon Marshall: 44 completions in 100 attempts for 824 yards | 5 TDs
Brad Stewart: 15 receptions for 268 yards | 17.9 avg. | 3 TDs
Qua Searcy: 8 receptions for 196 yards | 24.5 avg. | 1 TD
Tobias Oliver: 12 TDs = 72 points
TaQuon Marshall: 11 TDs = 68 points
Malik Rivera: 2
Anree Saint-Amour: 2
Tariq Carpenter: 2
Malik Rivera: 61
Jalen Johnson: 60
Brant Mitchell: 59
Tackles for Loss
Anree Saint-Amour: 11.0 for 45 yds.
Jalen Johnson: 6.5 for 24 yds.
Honors & Awards
Jr. OG Parker Braun (first team)
So. P Pressley Harvin III (second team)
True Freshman All-America
Fr. KR Juanyeh Thomas
Sr. OL Andrew Marshall
Sr. DB Malik Rivera
Sr. WR Brad Stewart
ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week
Sr. DE Anree Saint-Amour (Nov. 3 at North Carolina)
ACC Linebacker of the Week
Sr. OLB Jalen Johnson (Nov. 10 vs. Miami)
ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week
Jr. LG Parker Braun (Oct. 5 at Louisville)
Jr. LG Parker Braun (Oct. 25 at Virginia Tech)
ACC Quarterback of the Week
Sr. QB TaQuon Marshall (Oct. 5 at Louisville)
ACC Rookie of the Week
R-Fr. QB Tobias Oliver (Oct. 25 at Virginia Tech)
R-Fr. QB Tobias Oliver (Nov. 3 at North Carolina)
ACC Specialist of the Week
Fr. PK Wesley Wells (Nov. 17 vs. Virginia)
Fr. RS Juanyeh Thomas (Nov. 24 at Georgia)
Maxwell Award Watch List (Player)
Sr. QB TaQuon Marshall
Jr. BB KirVonte Benson
Outland Trophy Watch List (Interior Lineman)
Jr. OL Parker Braun
Rimington Trophy Watch List (Center)
Jr. C Kenny Cooper
Ray Guy Award Watch List (Punter)
So. P Pressley Harvin III
Earl Campbell Award Watch List
(Offensive Player In or From Texas)
Jr. OL Parker Braun
Wuerrfel Trophy Nominee (Community Service)
Sr. WR Brad Stewart
Campbell Trophy Semifinalist (Scholar-Athlete)
Sr. WR Brad Stewart
1929 Rose Bowl — Georgia Tech 8, California 7
1940 Orange Bowl — Georgia Tech 21, Missouri 7
1943 Cotton Bowl — Texas 14, Georgia Tech 7
1944 Sugar Bowl — Georgia Tech 20, Tulsa 18
1945 Orange Bowl — Tulsa 26, Georgia Tech 12
1947 Oil Bowl — Georgia Tech 41, St. Mary’s 19
1948 Orange Bowl — Georgia Tech 20, Kansas 14
1952 Orange Bowl — Georgia Tech 17, Baylor 14
1953 Sugar Bowl — Georgia Tech 24, Mississippi 7
1954 Sugar Bowl — Georgia Tech 42, West Virginia 19
1955 Cotton Bowl — Georgia Tech 14, Arkansas 6
1956 Sugar Bowl — Georgia Tech 7, Pittsburgh 0
1956 Gator Bowl — Georgia Tech 21, Pittsburgh 14
1960 Gator Bowl — Arkansas 14, Georgia Tech 7
1961 Gator Bowl — Penn St. 30, Georgia Tech 15
1962 Bluebonnet Bowl — Missouri 14, Georgia Tech 10
1965 Gator Bowl — Georgia Tech 31, Texas Tech 21
1967 Orange Bowl — Florida 27, Georgia Tech 12
1970 Sun Bowl — Georgia Tech 17, Texas Tech 9
1971 Peach Bowl — Mississippi 41, Georgia Tech 18
1972 Liberty Bowl — Georgia Tech 31, Iowa St. 30
1978 Peach Bowl — Purdue 41, Georgia Tech 21
1985 All America Bowl — Georgia Tech 17, Michigan St. 14
1991 Citrus Bowl — Georgia Tech 45, Nebraska 21
1991 Aloha Bowl — Georgia Tech 18, Stanford 17
1997 Carquest Bowl — Georgia Tech 35, West Virginia 30
1999 Gator Bowl — Georgia Tech 35, Notre Dame 28
2000 Gator Bowl — Miami 28, Georgia Tech 13
2000 Peach Bowl — LSU 28, Georgia Tech 14
2001 Seattle Bowl — Georgia Tech 24, Stanford 14
2002 Silicon Valley Classic — Fresno State 30, Georgia Tech 21
2004 Humanitarian Bowl — Georgia Tech 52, Tulsa 10
2004 Champs Sports Bowl — Georgia Tech 51, Syracuse 14
2005 Emerald Bowl — Utah 38, Georgia Tech 10
2007 Gator Bowl — West Virginia 38, Georgia Tech 35
2007 Humanitarian Bowl — Fresno State 40, Georgia Tech 28
2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl — LSU 38, Georgia Tech 3
2010 FedEx Orange Bowl — Iowa 24, Georgia Tech 14
2011 Hyundai Sun Bowl — Utah 30, Georgia Tech 27 (OT)
2012 Hyundai Sun Bowl — Georgia Tech 21, USC 7
2013 Music City Bowl — Ole Miss 25, Georgia Tech 17
2014 Capital One Orange Bowl — Georgia Tech 49, Mississippi State 34
2016 TaxSlayer Bowl — Georgia Tech 33, Kentucky 18
Minnesota Golden Gophers
This game will mark Minnesota's second appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl and will be the Gophers' 20th bowl game all time. Minnesota beat Central Michigan 21-14 in the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl.
Coach P.J. Fleck
P.J. Fleck was named head football coach at Minnesota on Jan. 6, 2017. Fleck, 38, is the 30th head coach in the program’s history.
Under Fleck, a young Minnesota team beat rival Wisconsin for the first time since 2003 and for the first time on the road since 1994 to reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe. The Gophers also downed Purdue’s potent offense, as they held the Boilermakers to a season low in points (10) and yards (233).