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Sophomore quarterback James Franklin had the best game of his young career as the Tigers gashed the North Carolina Tar Heels for 513 yards of total offense and a 41-24 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl victory Dec. 26, 2011, in Shreveport, La. In its final football contest as a Big 12 member, Mizzou counterpunched an early 7-0 deficit with a tricky halfback pass from game MVP Franklin to junior wide receiver T.J. Moe to senior wide receiver Wes Kemp who trotted untouched into the end zone. Franklin also ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw one to senior wideout Jerrell Jackson.

“This is how you finish it, baby! This is how you finish it,” belted an elated Jackson just before the postgame trophy presentation. The Tigers (8-5) ended a season with four wins in a row for the first time since 1965. Missouri, which begins play in the Southeastern Conference starting in September 2012, also set an Independence Bowl record with its 31 first half points.

“We practiced really hard, and we were ready to play before we even came (to Shreveport),” said senior All-Big 12 tight end Michael Egnew. “The extra practice we got down here was bonus.”