The game marked the first ever meeting of the two universities' football programs. NC State led 17-6 at halftime, but crumbled in the second half after losing starting quarterback Russell Wilson to a knee injury. Rutgers won, 29-23.
This was also the first edition of the bowl game not to feature any current or former members of Conference USA. The selection of NC State did have a connection to past bowl games in Birmingham as the Wolfpack had competed in the last All-American Bowl, held at Legion Field in 1990.