Independence Bowl: Missouri swamps North Carolina

Monday, December 26, 2011 | 10:02 p.m. CST; updated 11:04 p.m. CST, Monday, December 26, 2011

SHREVEPORT, La. — Missouri finally said goodbye to the Big 12 with a dominating 41-24 victory over North Carolina in the Independence Bowl. The game was Missouri's last as a representative of the Big 12 Conference.

The Tigers scored 31 straight points in the first half to build what turned out to be an insurmountable advantage. Quarterback James Franklin threw for a touchdown and ran for two more while racking up 274 all-purpose yards — fifth most in Independence Bowl history.

The day began with a mishap — Truman the Tiger shattered the crystal atop the Independence Bowl trophy during the pregame festivities — but a local jewelry store was able to get a backup in place before the game began.

After that, though, the mishaps belonged almost exclusively to the Tar Heels. A bizarre interception in the first half led to Missouri’s final touchdown of the first half and gave the Tigers a 24-point lead.

Missouri dominated at the line of scrimmage, holding the Tar Heels to just 36 yards rushing while racking up 337 rushing yards of its own on a cold, rainy night in northwest Louisiana.

It was the final game for Missouri as a representative of the Big 12 conference. Beginning next season, Missouri will compete in the Southeastern Conference along with Texas A&M, another former Big 12 team that joined the SEC.

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