Independence Bowl Preview

December 26, 2011
By K. Becks

Hopefully everyone had a Merry Christmas. I must say, it was extremely difficult to function without any bowl games to look forward to on Christmas night. I don’t know about you, but watching the Green Bay Packers beat up on the Chicago Bears in what is essentially a meaningless game is not my idea of fun.

Here is a preview of this evening’s game.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

Missouri vs. North Carolina

The headlines surrounding this game are more about things happening off the field than on the field. That is what happens when you get a matchup between two mediocre teams in a bowl game well before New Year’s Day.

North Carolina has had their issues this season after letting go of former head coach Butch Davis before the season began. Interim head coach Everett Withers has since announced that he will join Urban Meyer’s staff as defensive coordinator in Columbus next season, so the Tar Heel players know that they will not be playing for him next season (although, it was assumed that North Carolina would hire someone else to take over the head coaching duties next year anyway). Thus, it would make sense if the Tar Heels came out flat and didn’t look like they really wanted to be playing in Shreveport. What could keep North Carolina in this game, however, is the fact that their strength (rush defense) can contain Missouri’s strength (rush offense).

If Missouri wants to win this game, they are going to need a big effort out of quarterback James Franklin. Franklin was instrumental in the Tigers success during their three-game winning streak to end the season, and he will need to be sharp in order for Missouri to keep that streak alive. North Carolina is stingy against the run, so Franklin will be called upon to throw the ball, which he is capable of doing. As long as he does not rush his throws, he can make a defense pay for bringing guys up to stop the run. If Franklin remains calm, then the Tigers should be able to have their way with North Carolina in this one.

I have Missouri for 26 points in the College Bowl Mania game. That is a lot of confidence points, and I do admit that it is risky because you can never be too sure when picking one mediocre power conference team to beat another power conference team. However, I believe that motivation will be a factor in this game, and it is hard to see how North Carolina could have more of it than Missouri considering their coaching situation over the last six months.

Final Score: 34-27 Missouri

- K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*