As ESPN's David Ubben looks ahead to today's Independence Bowl match-up between the Missouri Tigers and North Carolina Tar Heels, he notes that defending the big play is going to make all the difference. That's a good point given that both teams have some great skill position players and Missouri, in particular, has a dynamic quarterback with massive potential in James Franklin. To that end, the team that can limit the big gains could be the winner in the end.
Ubben writes, "The Tar Heels are right in the middle of the pack in the ACC when it comes to big plays, but outside of Texas, Missouri has been the Big 12's best team at limiting plays from scrimmage longer than 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards. That should continue, and if it does, Missouri should be fine. Neither team has a huge advantage in this one, but the Tigers should win if they play like their usual selves. Fact is, 7-5 and 5-4 in the Big 12 is a lot more impressive than North Carolina's marks of 7-5 and 3-5 in the ACC."