On December 26th, 2014, the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl was played between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and North Carolina Tar Heels at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

Rutgers stormed right out the gate by needing only two minutes and seventeen seconds to score on its first drive. Quarterback Gary Nova hit receiver Andre Patton for a 34-yard touchdown to get the offense rolling for Rutgers, and after that touchdown they never looked back. As North Carolina attempted to respond with an opening touchdown of its own, Rutgers capitalized on defense as strong safety Lorenzo Waters recovered a North Carolina fumble at midfield.

After a 7-0 score in the first quarter, the Scarlet Knights built on their lead in the second with rushing touchdowns from running backs Josh Hicks and Robert Martin, and after a 19-yard field goal from kicker Kyle Federico, Rutgers went into halftime with a 23-0 lead.

North Carolina made its best effort to respond in the third quarter with a rushing touchdown from quarterback Marquise Williams, but Rutgers responded right away with another 34-yard touchdown pass from Nova as he connected with Andrew Turzilli to make the score 30-7. The Scarlet Knights continued to roll throughout the second half as they added ten points in the fourth quarter off of a 28-yard rushing touchdown from Martin, and a 31-yard field goal from Federico to give them a 40-7 lead.

North Carolina did not go quietly though as they added two quick touchdown passes from Williams and fellow quarterback Mitch Trubisky to cut the score to 40-21 with five minutes to go. After recovering the onside kick following the Trubisky touchdown pass, the Tar Heels comeback bid stalled with a failed fourth down attempt on the Rutgers 8-yard line with 2:47 remaining. Rutgers was able to hold onto the ball for the remainder of the game and capped off their season in the Big Ten with a 40-21 win in the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl.

With the win, Rutgers finished their first season in the Big Ten with an 8-5 record, while North Carolina fell to 6-7 on the season. The Scarlet Knights were able to control this game with a dominant rushing attack as Hicks and Martin combined for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Hicks carried ball 19 times for 202 yards and was named the first MVP of the Quick Lane Bowl

Game Notes:

Game MVP: Josh Hicks (19 carries, 202 yards, 1 touchdown)

Quick Lane Bowl Alumni in NFL: Bengals TE Tyler Croft (Rutgers)

Lions LB Kevin Snyder (Rutgers)

Lions FB Michael Burton (Rutgers)

Cowboys DB Tim Scott (North Carolina)

Kickoff: 4:30 PM

Network: ESPN

Game Stats:

Passing Leaders

Table inside Article
Marquise Williams (UNC) 25/37 198 1 0
Gary Nova 9/20 187 2 0

Rushing Leaders

Table inside Article
Josh Hicks (RUG) 19 202 1 10.6
Robert Martin (RUG) 19 100 2 5.3
T.J. Logan (UNC) 14 110 0 7.9
Marquise Williams (UNC) 15 51 1 3.4

Receiving Leaders

Table inside Article
Andre Patton (RUG) 3 67 1 22.3
Ryan Switzer (UNC) 6 54 0 9
Jack Tabb (UNC) 5 51 1 10.2
Andrew Turzilli (RUG) 1 34 1 34