Mizzou Returns to Independence Bowl
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOX) — The Missouri Tigers will play the North Carolina Tar Heels in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on December 26 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mizzou gets their school-record seventh straight bowl bid after finishing the 2011 season 7-5 overall plus 5-4 in their final year as part of the Big 12 Conference.
The Tigers will make their third appearance in the Independence Bowl under head coach Gary Pinkel with the other two coming in 2003 and 2005. After losing their first two conference games to Oklahoma and Kansas State two months ago, Mizzou won five out of their last seven. They got their qualifying sixth win over Texas Tech on November 19, and then beat rival Kansas to lock up the fifth place position in the Big 12.
The Tar Heels also finished their season 7-5, but had a 3-5 mark in the ACC. North Carolina began the season 5-1, but lost four out of their last six to finish in fourth place in the Coastal Division. This will be their fourth consecutive bowl and first ever Independence Bowl appearance.
Mizzou and North Carolina will be meeting for only the third time on the gridiron when they square off in Shreveport. Mizzou stands 2-0 all-time in the series, claiming 27-14 and 24-3 wins in Chapel Hill (1973) and Columbia (1976), respectively.
“We’re very pleased to accept an invitation to play in the 2011 Independence Bowl,” said MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We obviously have a history with this game, and we know first-hand how great of an experience they provide. This is also a nice fit for our program from a recruiting standpoint, and we’ll certainly have a big challenge with a talented North Carolina team. We look forward to working hard over the next few weeks to prepare for what should be a great game and a great trip for our program,” he said.
“We are excited to be playing in our seventh-straight bowl game, and we’re pleased to be playing in the Independence Bowl,” said Director of Athletics Mike Alden. “Reaching the post-season does so much for your program, and having a chance to play in an area where we’re looking to expand our presence is a big plus. We’ve developed great friendships with the staff and look forward to renewing those,” he said.
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