Friday, December 26, 2014

Rutgers: 2014 Quick Lane Bowl Champions

DETROIT (AP) Josh Hicks and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights capped their first season in the Big Ten with a dominating effort in the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl.
The freshman running back rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown and Rutgers beat North Carolina 40-21 on Friday night at Ford Field.
''This is a childhood dream come true,'' said Hicks, the MVP trophy sitting just above him in his locker. ''It is just now hitting me what happened out there. Our O-line was just so good today - they were opening lanes, and all I had to do was hit them.
Senior Gary Nova threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Robert Martin ran for 100 yards and two scores for the Scarlet Knights (8-5).
''I saw the predictions before the season, so I knew what the public perception of our team was, especially going into the Big Ten,'' Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. ''But I have always believed that this was going to be a competitive team that was going to play in the postseason, and we proved that all year.''
Flood, the brother of a New York Police Department officer, wore an ''NYPD'' cap during the game, as did many of his assistant coaches and support personnel. Some Rutgers fans also wore them.
''We're here doing this, and my brother is going to two funerals in the next couple days,'' said Flood, who has several other relatives who have worked for the department. ''I wanted to show our program's support for them, because that's a very special relationship for us.''
Owned and operated by the NFL's Detroit Lions, the bowl replaced the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, which had been played in Detroit under various names since 1997. The new bowl was hoped to make a bigger impact with a Big Ten vs. ACC matchup, but drew a disappointing crowd. The announced attendance was 23,876 - smaller than all but one Pizza Bowl - and the actual crowd appeared to be less than half of that
''We knew this was going to be a challenge,'' said Tom Lewand, president of both the Lions and the bowl. ''When you partner with the Big Ten and the ACC, you know you will get some geographic diversity, and we knew there would be travel challenges for supporters around the holidays.''
Rutgers led 40-7 before the Tar Heels (6-7) scored twice in the final 7 minutes. North Carolina also had two second-half touchdown passes taken away because of interference penalties.
''The game of football is pretty simple,'' Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said. ''If you give away the ball on offense, don't force any turnovers on defense and make multiple game-changing mistakes on special teams, you aren't going to win football games.''
North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams was never able to get going, although he did throw for one score and run for another.
''They did exactly what we expected them to do in every phase of the game,'' Fedora said. ''We just didn't stop them.''
The Scarlet Knights lost the coin toss, but got the ball when North Carolina deferred. They only needed 2:17 to take the lead, with Nova hitting a wide-open Andre Patton for a 34-yard touchdown strike.
North Carolina got into Rutgers' territory its first two drives, but turned the ball over on the first and punted on the second. The Tar Heels blocking a punt to take over at the 30, but the drive stalled at the 5 and a fake field goal was buried for a 4-yard loss.
The Scarlet Knights answered with a 91-yard drive that ended with Hicks' 21-yard run that made it 14-0 early in the second. Rutgers then turned another Tar Heels fumble into a quick touchdown - Martin's 8-yard run - but missed the extra point, leaving it 20-0.
The Tar Heels missed a field goal, then shanked a punt 20 yards, allowing Rutgers to kick a 19-yard field goal that made it 23-0 at halftime.
Williams got North Carolina on the board with a 1-yard run, but the Scarlet Knights came back with a 34-yard pass from Nova to Andrew Turzilli to make it 30-7. Martin's second touchdown run - this one from 28 yards - gave Rutgers a 30-point advantage early in the fourth.

Louisiana Tech: 2014 Heart Of Dallas Bowl Champions

DALLAS -- Louisiana Tech's Houston Bates had a career day against his former team -- his 4 1/2 sacks in the Heart of Dallas Bowl matched the number he had in three seasons at Illinois.
Bates, who graduated and transferred to finish his eligibility closer to home, was chosen MVP of the game after the Bulldogs beat the Illini 35-18 on Friday.
"It wasn't Houston Bates vs. Illinois. It was Louisiana Tech vs. Illinois," Bates said.
Kenneth Dixon scored one of his two touchdowns on an 80-yard reception and Xavier Woods scored on a 69-yard interception. The Bulldogs (9-5) also got touchdown runs of 16 yards from Jarred Craftand 28 yards from Blake Martin on a dark, overcast day at the Cotton Bowl stadium.
Illinois (6-7) struggled early with penalties and missed field goals, but got within three points onDavid Reisner's 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarters. But Dixon scored his second TD from one yard out with six minutes left to make it 28-18 and the Illini couldn't answer.
Illinois appeared to have gotten a break when LaKeith Walls sacked Cody Sokol, causing him to fumble. Jihad Ward returned it 19 yards before Dixon forced a fumble and Sokol recovered. That drive was capped by Dixon's TD.
"The way the guys played, Kenneth and Cody and throughout the whole season, it's truly outstanding," Bates said. "It's something I'm going to live for the rest of my life. And if I die tomorrow, my life would be complete."
Tech coach Skip Holtz then asked Bates to skip the humble answer and say what it really meant to him to win.
"Unbelievable," Bates added with a huge smile.
"I know it's been an emotional week for him," Holtz said, "and I know it's been an emotional week to see him go out and do the things that he did."
Bates had an additional sack in the closing minutes negated when a teammate couldn't get off the field in time and the Bulldogs were penalized for having 12 players on the field.
Dixon became Louisiana Tech's career leader in yards rushing, finishing with 63 for a total of 3,410 in three seasons.
He is also the only FBS player with both a run and a reception of at least 80 yards this season.
Louisiana Tech went into the game tied for first place among FBS schools with 25 interceptions and first with 40 total turnovers forced. With Monday's two Illini turnovers, Tech converted turnovers into 198 points this season.
"I was just not giving up on the play," Dixon said. "I mean, he got the ball. He was running. I got behind him and just tried to do my best to get the ball back."
"I saw Kenneth coming and, what went through my head?" Holtz said. "`Get `im, Kenneth! Get `im! Get `im! Get `im!' And he got there. Great strip on the ball."
"That's the game of football to me," Illinois coach Tim Beckman said of the turnovers. "I think they've been very opportunistic in what they've done this year. We need to become that better, our defense. No question those were big, huge plays."
Tech led 21-9 lead at halftime after Reilly O'Toole's pass was returned for a touchdown by Woods midway through the second, but Illinois responded with a 3-yard scoring run by Donovonn Young. The 2-point conversion failed, though, but Reisner banked in a field goal to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 3.
O'Toole threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jon Davis early in the second quarter. He was 24 of 39 for a season-high 295 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Taylor Zalewski kicked a 27-yard FG in the first quarter for Illinois, which committed eight first-half penalties for 53 yards and missed two field goals attempts and an extra point.
Sokol, who began his collegiate career in the Big Ten at Iowa, completed 14 of 28 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown.
On Woods' interception, the pass was thrown ahead of Dudek, whose uniform appeared to be held by Tech's Bryson Abraham just before Woods made the grab.
"Reilly threw the ball where I was supposed to be," Dudek said. "Which I probably would have been had I not been held, but the ref didn't call it."

Feelin' Alright

Seems I've got to have a change of scene
'Cause every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Won't someone lock the door and turn the key

Feeling alright
I'm not feeling too good myself
Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself

Boy you sure took me for a ride
And even now I sit and wonder why
That when I think of you
I stop myself from crying
I just can't waist my time
I must keep trying
I've got to stop believing all your lies
'Cause there's to much to do before I die

Feeling alright
I'm not feeling too good myself
Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself

Don't you get to lost in all I say
But at the time you know, I really felt that way
But that was then and now you know its today
I can't escape I guess I'm here to stay
Till someone comes along to take my place
With a different name and a different face

Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself
Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself

Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself
Feeling alright
I'm not feeling good myself

Feeling alright
I'm not feeling too good myself
Feeling alright
I'm not feeling that good myself...

At Your Best You Are Love

Let me know, let me know
Ah - ha, let me know, let me know
Let me know

When I feel what I feel
Sometimes it's hard to tell you so
You may not be in the mood to learn what you think you know

There are times when I find
You want to keep yourself from me
When I don't have the strength; I'm just a mirror of what I see

But at your best you are love
You're a positive motivating force within my life
Should you ever feel the need to wonder why
Let me know, let me know. . .

When you feel what you feel
Oh, how hard for me to understand
So many things have taken place before this love affair began

But if you feel, oh, like I feel
Confusion can give way to doubt
For there are times when I fall short of what I say,
what I say I'm all about, all about

But at your best you are love
You're a positive motivating force within my life
Should you ever feel the need to wonder why
Let me know, let me know. . .

Tell me what it is (Tell me what it is)
There's no need to make believe
Look beyond your own (Look beyond your own)
Try and find another place for me
Cause. . .

At your best you are love
You're a positive motivating force within my life
Should you ever feel the need to wonder why
Let me know, let me know. . .

Ah, ah, ah - ha
See, stay at your best baby. . .