The University of Missouri Tiger football team made a huge statement in their bowl game against North Carolina. Missouri came out to prove to the SEC that they belong next year, and from what we saw they looked ready. The 41-24 score was no indication of the dominance of the game.
Missouri was led by sophomore sensation James Franklin at center; SEC fans get ready for the legs and the arm this young man will bring to the league. At the end of the season next year, he may be a top three quarterback in the SEC. Franklin who was the Independence Bowls’ MVP after he rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another. He accumulated 142 rushing yards on 15 carries, and threw for 132 completing 15/23 passes along the way.
Missouri's defense held strong against the Tar Heels only allowing 36 rushing yards. Their secondary did look suspect at times as the Tar Heels were able to collect 317 passing yards. Missouri will have to come in to the SEC next season able to stop the run, and close the gaps in their secondary.
The Tigers set an Independence Bowl record with 31 first half points and took home what was left of the Independence Bowl trophy. Missouri's mascot Truman the Tiger dropped the trophy, and shattered it into a few pieces earlier in the day. Luckily for the Tigers, they were able to replace the trophy, and take it back to Columbia.
The Tigers finished the season on a four game winning streak for the first time since 1965 and are coming to the SEC on fire. They will be bringing with them James Franklin at quarterback with an entire offseason to prepare and get better which is a scary thought for the SEC Eastern Division. The Tigers are lucky to be joining the east which will be wide open next season. So for now, the SEC chants ring abounds in Columbia, Missouri and for good reason. They are bringing a dynamic quarterback and high powered rushing attack in to the SEC next season. Believe that the teams in the Eastern Division took notice of the bowl game against North Carolina, and are now a little more worried about the addition of Missouri.