Apparently a fan base is overrated. That's because the Missouri Tigers showed up with enough energy on their own that the ridiculously sparse fan base in Shreveport for the 2011 Independence Bowl didn't affect a thing with Gary Pinkel's Missouri Tigers as they dominated every aspect of the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels in a 41-24 victory tonight.
James Franklin was undoubtedly the human highlight film and SEC teams likely took notice of the dual threat at quarterback for the Tigers. Big 12 opponents have long realized that Franklin can take a game over with the run and through the air and the Tigers relied on that tonight. Franklin went 15 of 23 for 132 passing yards and 1 touchdown, but he added another 142 rushing yards and 2 more touchdowns on the ground.
T.J. Moe had a touchdown pass of his own, while Kendial Lawrence and the rest of the Missouri ground game somehow made everyone say, "Who's Henry Josey?" (Only the leading rusher in the Big 12 at the time of his injury.) In short, the Missouri Tigers simply had the right game plan while North Carolina wilted early.
As for Carolina, Giovani Bernard was held to 13 carries for 31 rushing yards, and Dwight Jones, ruled eligible to play after some drama in the last week, had 6 catches for 77 yards and 1 touchdown. The Tigers finish at 8-5 on the season.