2011 Independence Bowl: Missouri Handles Business Against UNC

Carl StineCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2011

Truman the Tiger broke the trophy that was to be presented to the winner of this game, but his Missouri squad emerged as the victors, trophy fiasco aside.

James Franklin accounted for three touchdowns, two rushing and one through the air, as the Tigers beat the North Carolina Tar Heels, 41-24.

The Tar Heels littered the game with turnovers, dropped passes and uninspired play.

UNC's usually stout rushing defense was gashed for over 300 yards, and Missouri held the Tar Heels under 50 yards on the ground in the rout.

For UNC fans, there were some positives to take away from a disappointing performance.

Bryn Renner finished the game 27-of-42 for 317 yards, three scores and one pick.

He showed the ability to make good decisions, and had at least four of his passes dropped.

With a new head coach coming into the picture in Larry Fedora, the young players on the UNC squad had an opportunity to audition, and Renner definitely took advantage.

On the flip side, Missouri's backups spent the day running the ball, and they did it well, averaging over seven yards per carry, and punishing a North Carolina defense that ranked 14th against the run, allowing just over 106 yards per game in the regular season.

Missouri quarterback James Franklin showed the ability to dominate a game, rushing to set up the pass for the Tigers, while UNC D-lineman Quinton Coples showed flashes of greatness.

It's games such as these that do not help the national perception of the ACC, especially since the Tigers were 7-5 coming into this game and not all that impressive.

Both teams featured some great young talent, but it was obvious that UNC's coaching staff was on the way out, while Missouri was focused and prepared to play.