The Missouri Tigers spotted North Carolina a touchdown on it's opening drive, but responded with 31 unanswered points until the end of the first half as the Tigers dominated the Tar Heels for the majority of the the 36th annual edition of the Independence Bowl to rout them 41-24 and finish the season 8-5 overall with the big bowl game victory.
Missouri QB James Franklin accounted for 274 total yards of offense (15-23 132 yards passing, 18 carries for 142 yards rushing)and 3 scores (1 pass,2 running) to lead the Tigers to the 41 points.
"We started off pretty well, something we haven't done a lot of this season," said Missouri QB James Franklin. "That was probably the best first half we've had all season."
Running back Kendial Lawrence ran the ball 16 times for 108 yards and a touchdown on the day.
The Tiger offense clicked on all cylinders in the first half as they moved the ball down the field with a solid mix of run and pass keeping North Carolina off balance.
They had great numbers on 3rd down converting 10 of 14 and rolling up 576 total yards while averaging 7.3 yards per rush on the day.
The Missouri defense had a stellar day against the run holding the Tar Heels to just 36 yards on 19 carries for a 1.9 yard per carry average.
North Carolina had much more success through the air throwing for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day.
For Missouri, this marks a record 6th straight 8-win seasons, as the Tigers closed out the season on a 4-game win streak for the first time in 46 years.
Franklin was named the game's MVP, as he finished 15-23-1 for 132 yards and 1 TD through the air, and carried the football 18 times for 142 yards and 2 TDs on the ground. Franklin completed passes to 8 different Missouri receivers.
The 274 yards of total offense by Franklin places the sophomore's 2011 season as the fourth best in Missouri history, behind three seasons by Chase Daniel.