Missouri and North Carolina should be very good game in the Independence Bowl. Missouri has been to seven straight bowls previously while North Carolina has made it three straight up until now.
Both teams come into the game with identical 7-5 record. Neither team was ever blown out this year and each lost several close games. In a sense, both of these teams somewhat underachieved. The Shreveport, Louisana, contest on December 26, 2011, will see one of these BCS league members achieve their eighth win and a bowl championship. North Carolina's troubles extend over the last two seasons.
The Tar Heels where looking like potential top 10 material at the beginning of the season last year. Then came NCAA and eligiblity problems which resulted in multiple suspensions. This season, head man Butch Davis was fired right as fall practice was set to begin. Everett Withers guided the team as interim coach this season. The Tar Heels have an NFL-sized offensive line and pro talent at several positions especially along the defensive line and at wide receiver.
Missouri is getting to be an Independence Bowl regular with two recent appearances which the Tigers split. Mizzou's last time in this Bayou State bowl resulted in a stirring come from behind win over South Carolina. In sophomore quarterback James Franklin's first year as a starter, he emerged as a powerful runner and very good passer. Despite bad passing decisions in a couple of games resulting in turnovers, Franklin had Missouri in virtually every game. Missouri's running game took a hit when tailback Henry Josey suffered a season ending knee injury earlier this season.