The 2014 Quick Lane Bowl Rutgers - 40 vs. North Carolina - 21

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First, what the heck happened to the Pizza Bowl !

In Bone’s absence in the Land of the Nijon-ji (Japan) the Pizza Bowl was no more. Since 2002, Detroit's Ford Field had played host to the Motor City Bowl—later known as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl for sponsorship reasons; a bowl game between the 8th placed team in the Big Ten Conference and the champion of the Mid-American Conference which was first played in 1997 at the Pontiac Silverdome. In May 2013, ESPN reported that the Detroit Lions were planning to organize a new Big Ten bowl game at Ford Field against an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent—Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany had expressed a desire to revamp the conference's lineup of bowl games for the 2014 season to keep them "fresh". In August 2013, the Lions officially confirmed the new, then-unnamed game, tentatively scheduled for December 30, 2014. The team had reached six-year deals with the Big Ten and ACC to provide tie-ins for the game; the teams playing in the bowl are to be picked by representatives from each participating conference. The announcement of the Lions' bowl game, and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl's loss of Ford Field as a venue, left the fate of the game—which had a relatively lower-profile matchup—in jeopardy.

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand remarked that "very few" markets could adequately support hosting two major bowl games. Organizers were open to the possibility of moving the game across the street to Comerica Park—home stadium of the Detroit Tigers, for 2014 as an outdoor game, which never happened. So surprise surprise in August 2014, the Lions announced that the Ford Motor Company had acquired title sponsorship rights to the new Detroit bowl, which will be known as the Quick Lane Bowl—named for its auto shop brand Quick Lane. It was also confirmed that the inaugural game would inherit the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl's traditional date of December 26, 2014, and be televised by ESPN. In a statement to Crain's Detroit Business, Motor City Bowl co-founder Ken Hoffman confirmed that "there is no Pizza Bowl for 2014. We will have to see about the future", implying that the game has been cancelled indefinitely.

Which means that the Ford Family forced out the VERY successful team that ran the Motor City/ Pizza Bowl to run it as efficiently as they run the Lions.

Despite the changes, tradition is tradition!. This year, Buck, Mike son was able to experience his first Bowl Game !  Mike and Buck Picked up Bone at Bonicello in Bezerkley and boogied down town!

It was an eerie trip! In prior years, even when the game is late at night (starting at 8:00 PM) there were people milling about downtown, this day, it was a ghost town! 

Since this was Buck first time in Ford Field we walked around, and it was nothing like the prior Motor City/Pizza Bowls, where were the Quick Lane Hats?!  Where were the Souvenir Stands!

Why did it take 20 minutes to get a warm beer and cold hot dog for $25!!!! 

Not the way Mike and Bone wanted to show Buck what a fun Bowl Game is!

Once in their seats, the Boy's noticed a LOT of empty seats! The dang Stadium was pretty much empty! Bring back the Pizza Team!!!!!!!!

The Riotous Rutgers Marching Band

The Absent North Carolina Marching Band

 The blank picture above represents the NC Marching Band.  What an embarrassment! North Carolina did not have their Marching Band. In ALL the Bowl Games the Boys had attended, they had NEVER seen to a Bowl that did not have a Band ! The Ford Family should have told North Carolina to bring their Band! 

The Three Amigos: Bone Mike, and Buck!

Fortunately, the Boys bring the party, and for the Rutgers alumni sitting behind them they had new friends to dicker with during the Game.  In fact the one fan was the Rutgers Team Attorney!

The Rutgers Fan's agreed with the Boys the lack of class of North Carolina Team on not bringing a Band, its a Bowl fer god sakes!!!

Game On!!!

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.

The North Carolina quarterback Williams finally got his Team 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.

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.

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 Josh Hicks, Rutgers freshman Running back  of the MVP trophy. "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."

In the end Rutgers was dominant offensively and had a strong defensive effort for three quarters. 

Rutgers senior Quarterback Gary Nova threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Robert Martin ran for 100 yards and two scores for the Scarlet Knights. "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." 

Good for a free oil change at any Quick Lane station !

"The game of football is pretty simple," Reflecting on the beating, Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said. "If you give away the ball on offense, don't force any turnovers on defence 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."

AFF (Another Ford Flounder)

 The new Ford-based 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.

Which is nonsense, since Mike and Bone had been to 14 of the 16 Motor City/Pizza Bowls that had bands, energy, excitement, organization, and fun. Everything this Bowl lacked, but similar to a Lions Game experience!

Keeping some Traditions!

With at least a game in them. The Mike, Bone, and Buck had a few beers downtown with the obligatory Guineys at the Old Shillelagh, then a few at Checkers, and a few Meechigan Microbrews (very tasty Porters!) at Foran's Grand Trunk all leading up to a Night Cap at the Berserkley Blarney Stone which gave a good end to a flat Bowl.