Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Friday – December 26 – 3:30 pm
Ford Field – Detroit
How’d They Get Here
The Scarlet Knights are enjoying a postseason berth after being in the Big 10 after one season. Their inaugural season in the new conference saw them go 3-5 in conference and 7-5 overall. The Scarlet Knights put up fairly pedestrian numbers on offense while the defense was downright horrible going 2-5 in their final seven.
The Tar Heels won several close games this season while going 6-6. They can certainly open up the passing lanes but on defense, they’re atrocious. Hence the breakeven conference wins and overall wins.
These teams have faced off six times previously splitting the series, the Tar Heels have won the last three.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Scarlet Knights are in good hands going into this game behind helmsman Gary Nova. The senior quarterback has completed 58% of his passes for over 2,600 yards and 20 TDs. However he does have 12 interceptions on his resume for this season. His decision making skills will impact the game. Their top rusher, Desmon Peoples won’t be playing due to an upper body injury. Look for their tandem of freshmen running backs to tote the rock with Robert Martin and Josh Hicks. On the receiving end of Nova’s passes are Leonte Carroo and Andrew Turzilli. Carroo is the 6’1″ speedster with good hands and over 1,000 yards this season. As mentioned earlier, Rutgers defense is nothing to brag about.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels are led by junior QB Marquise Williams. He’s a dual threat machine who is more than capable of breaking the game open with his legs and arm. He too has eclipsed the 2,500 yard mark for passing and completed 20 TDs. On the ground though he had amassed more than 700 yards and 12 TDs. Sometimes North Carolina likes to mix things up and throw in back up QB Mitch Trubisky. T.J. Logan is the every down back who is patient and will average over 4 yards per carry. Ryan Switzer and Mack Hollins are the downfield threats with big play opportunities. Don’t expect much from the North Carolina defense as it seems that they give up almost as many points as the offense can score.
Prediction: This game will be a shootout and whichever team doesn’t turn the ball over will be in the driver’s seat for this one. This year’s Quick Lane Bowl will go to Rutgers. Rutgers 38 – North Carolina 28