Attendance absolutely awful for Detroit’s bowl

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Detroit — Boston College and Maryland played in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday afternoon at Ford Field, and few seemed to care.

With two .500 teams playing, despite being from the ACC and Big Ten, the bowl had its smallest turnout — less than 10,000 — since it moved to Ford Field in 2002. The “official” announced attendance was 19,117, as Boston College won, 36-30, to finish with a winning record.

It was Boston College that played in that first Motor City Bowl game at Ford Field in 2002, defeating Toledo, 51-25, before 45,761. Last year, Minnesota beat Central Michigan, 21-14, in front of 34,217 fans.

The Lions might want to get former executive director Ken Hoffman back in the mix to see what he can do to get the Mid-American Conference-Big Ten matchups back — like in 2007, when Purdue defeated Central Michigan, 51-48, in front of 60,624 — because this formula isn’t coming close to working.

Future is bright

Maryland sophomore running back Ty Johnson topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season, rushing for 159 yards on 15 carries in the loss.

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With the Terrapins on the short end of a 16-0 second-quarter deficit, Johnson busted loose up the middle for a 62-yard TD to get them on the board with 9:20 left in the half. Then, after the Eagles opened up a 23-7 lead, Johnson scored on a 30-yard run to cut the deficit to 23-13 with 6:36 left in the quarter.

Johnson entered the game with 845 yards, averaging 8.9 yards per carry. He showed why he had had the best per-carry average in the last 63 years of Maryland football by getting loose for a pair of big runs (55, 47 yards) in the 31-13 regular-season rout of Rutgers to become bowl eligible.

“He’s done that all year, consistently been a big-play guy for us,” Maryland first-year coach D.J. Durkin said. “He’s a young guy and still learning and getting better, and we’re certainly excited about him and a lot of guys at that position moving forward. I don’t know what he’ll finish the year at yards per carry, but if it’s not a record it’s got to be up there.”

Loeffler returns

Former Lions quarterback coach Scot Loeffler made his return to Ford Field as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Boston College.

Loeffler was quarterbacks coach of the Lions in 2008 before making stops as QB coach at Florida (2000, ’10), then offensive coordinator and QB coach at Temple (2011), Auburn (2012) and Virginia Tech (2013-15).

Loeffler helped Boston College to a winning record and its first bowl win since 2007 on Monday, with the Eagles piling up 348 total yards.