The Associated Press
Rutgers (7-5) vs. North Carolina (6-6), 4:30 p.m. Friday at Ford Field in Detroit (ESPN)
Line: North Carolina by 3.
Series Record: 3-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Rutgers is trying to reach eight wins for the seventh time in nine seasons — a solid enough debut season in the Big Ten. The Tar Heels can secure their seventh straight winning season with a victory.
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo versus North Carolina’s secondary. The Tar Heels struggled defensively this season, and associate head coach for defense Vic Koenning has now left the program. That leaves assistant Dan Disch in charge of the defense for the bowl. Carroo has 53 catches for 1,043 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Rutgers: QB Gary Nova has led Rutgers to seven come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career.
North Carolina: QB Marquise Williams leads North Carolina in passing and rushing this season. He’s thrown for 20 touchdowns, run for 12 and even caught a TD pass as well.
FACTS & FIGURES
This new bowl, operated by the Detroit Lions, has replaced the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which was played in Detroit previously. … Kyle Flood is the first coach in Rutgers history to lead the Scarlet Knights to a bowl in each of his first three seasons. … Rutgers has blocked 41 kicks since 2009, the most in the nation. … Rutgers trailed at some point in six of its seven victories this season. … North Carolina has allowed at least 40 points in five games this season. … North Carolina WR Quinshad Davis is tied with Hakeem Nicks for the school’s career lead with 21 career TD receptions.
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