1994 Liberty Bowl
|1994 Liberty Bowl|
|Date||December 31, 1994|
|Stadium||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|MVP||Illinois QB Johnny Johnson|
The 1994 Liberty Bowl was held on December 31, 1994, in Memphis, Tennessee at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game featured the Illinois Fighting Illini, of the Big Ten Conference, and the East Carolina Pirates, an independent team. Illinois won the game 30–0.
Illinois was led by head coach Lou Tepper and quarterback Johnny Johnson, and had lost its previous two games. The team was making its twelfth bowl appearance, and its sixth bowl appearance in seven years, having lost its previous three bowls.
East Carolina entered the game with a 7–4 record.
The Illini took a 14-0 first-quarter lead on Johnny Johnson touchdown passes to Ken Dilger and Jasper Strong. In the second quarter the Illini added a Chris Richardson field goal and a touchdown reception by Jason Dulick to pull away, 24-0. Illinois' final score came in the third quarter on another Johnson TD strike, this time to Ty Douthard. Johnson's four touchdown passes and 250 yards passing earned him Most Valuable Offensive Player and Most Valuable Player of the Game honors. The Illini defense forced four interceptions and a fumble, allowing a total of only 271 total yards. All-American linebacker Simeon Rice led the way with 10 tackles. The Liberty Bowl was the Illini's first Bowl victory since 1990. Illinois' 30-0 victory was the most lopsided win in Liberty Bowl history and was the only shutout posted among the 1994-95 bowls.
|1||Illinois||Ken Dilger 17-yard touchdown reception from Johnny Johnson, Chris Richardson kick good||7||0|
|Illinois||Jasper Strong 73-yard touchdown reception from Johnny Johnson, Chris Richardson kick good||14||0|
|2||Illinois||Chris Richardson 21-yard field goal||17||0|
|Illinois||Jason Dulick 5-yard touchdown reception from Johnny Johnson, Chris Richardson kick good||24||0|
|3||Illinois||Ty Douthard 30-yard touchdown reception from Johnny Johnson, Chris Richardson kick no good||30||0|
(Rushing-Passing-Total): UI - 134-255-389; ECU - 92-179-271
Individual statistical leaders
Rushing (Att.-Yds.-TD): UI - Ty Douthard 13-52-0; Robert Holcombe 12- 46-0; ECU - Marcus Crandell 41-20-4-0-179.
Passing (Att.-Comp.-Int.-TD-Yds.): UI - Johnny Johnson 30-18-0-4-250; Scott Weaver 4-2-0-0-5; ECU - Marcus Crandell 41-20-4-0-179.
Receiving (No.-Yds.-TD): UI - Jasper Strong 3-96-1, Ken Dilger 7-60-1, Jason Dulick 3-30-1; ECU - Scott Richards 4-25-0, Jason Nichols 6-55-0.