Missouri vs. UNC 2011 Bowl Game Betting Line & Expert Picks
The Big 12 and the ACC meet up on the day after Christmas when Shreveport, Louisiana, serves as the venue of the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, which showcases the Missouri Tigers and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
This will be the third meeting between Missouri and UNC. Missouri won the first pair; posting a 27-14 road victory in 1973 and a 24-3 verdict in Columbia during the 1976 season.
According to the current Independence Bowl spread, the Tigers are favored by five points, while the over/under is set for 52.5 points.
The Tigers won their last three regular-season matchups to end up fifth in the conference (5-4). Most recently, Missouri posted a 24-10 win against the Kansas Jayhawks. Missouri was 2-4 away from home this season, with three of those losses by less than a touchdown versus bowl teams (Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State).
The Tigers ranked 33rd nationally in points scored (32 points per contest) while compiling 472 yards per game (236 passing, 236 rushing). James Franklin completes 63 percent of his throws for 2,733 yards and 20 touchdowns with 10 picks, and ranks second on the team in the running game with 839 yards and 13 touchdowns on 4.2 yards per carry.
When Franklin hands the ball off, the best ball carrier was Henry Josey (1,168 yards and nine touchdowns on 8.1 ypc in 10 contests), who was hurt at the end of the regular season and makes Franklin the best healthy ball carrier. When Franklin drops back, his top pass catchers are T.J. Moe with 54 receptions for 649 yards and four touchdowns and Michael Egnew with 47 receptions for 484 yards and three scores.
The Missouri defense rates 44th in the country in points given up (23 ppg), surrendering 382 yards per contest (247 through the air, 135 on the ground) while compiling 26 sacks and forcing 20 turnovers.
Andrew Wilson leads the defense with 89 stops, while Jacquies Smith has a school high five sacks and four forced fumbles with 34 tackles. Kenji Jackson has three picks, 71 tackles and one sack, with Like Lambert adding three fumble recoveries, 74 tackles and a pick.
E.J. Gaines has a punt return for a TD, and Trey Barrow averages 45 yards per punt.
North Carolina is another school (Arizona State, Southern Miss) that will be coached by someone who will not return next year, as Southern Miss’ Larry Fedora will take over for North Carolina after this contest. Carolina finished fourth in the ACC’s Coastal Division (3-5) and comes into this game 2-4 in its past six contests after starting the year 5-1. UNC is 1-4as a visitor, with the lone win over East Carolina. However, three of its losses this season have come by a touchdown or less.
The Tar Heels rank 44th nationally in points allowed (23 points per contest), giving up 353 yards per game (237 passing, 106 on the ground) while compiling 25 sacks and forcing 23 turnovers.
Zach Brown leads this unit with 91 tackles (24 more than anyone else) and three forced fumbles, adding 5.5 sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery, while Quinton Coples has 7.5 sacks, 51 stops, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Tre Boston paces the squad with three picks and two fumble recoveries, adding 64 stops and a forced fumble.
Offensively, North Carolina ranks 57th in the nation in offense (28 ppg) while compiling 396 yards per contest (249 through the air, 147 running). Bryn Renner hits on 69 percent of his passes for 2,769 yards and 27 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. The offensive line has allowed 26 sacks.
Dwight Jones is the best receiver with 79 grabs (36 more than any other player) with 1,119 yards and 11 scores, while Giovani Bernard anchors the running game with 1,222 yards and 13 TDs on 5.4 yards per attempt.