NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — Jacoby Brissett threw for 262 yards and one touchdown and Matt Dayes scored on runs of 24 and 15 yards to help North Carolina beat Central Florida 34-27 in the Bitcoin Bowl on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Brissett tossed a 37-yard TD pass to Johnathan Alston to put the Wolfpack ahead for good in the second quarter. Running back Shadrach Thornton got NC State going early with an 18-yard scoring pass to Jaylen Samuels.
Brissett was 15 of 26 with no interceptions, completing passes to eight receivers. Thornton rushed for 96 yards on 17 carries and Dayes finished with 78 yards on 13 attempts to key a ground attack that produced 188 yards.
UCF’s Justin Holman threw for 291 yards, including TD passes of 6, 14 and 2 yards to Josh Reese, who had six receptions for 75 yards. Reese’s second touchdown cut it to 34-20 with 11 minutes remaining.
At Detroit, Josh Hicks ran for 202 yards and a touchdown and Rutgers beat North Carolina 40-21 in the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field.
Gary Nova threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and Robert Martin ran for 100 yards and two scores to help the Scarlet Knights cap their first Big Ten season.
Rutgers led 40-7 before the Tar Heels scored twice in the final 7 minutes.
Houston Bates had 4 1/2 sacks against his former team to help Louisiana Tech beat Illinois 35-18 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl.
Bates graduated from Illinois with a year of eligibility remaining and transferred to Louisiana Tech to finish his college career close to home.
Kenneth Dixon scored one of his two touchdowns on an 80-yard reception, and Xavier Woods returned an interception 69 yards for a score for the Bulldogs. Dixon became Louisiana Tech’s career rushing leader, finishing with 63 to push his three-season total to 3,410.