Mizzou Heads to Seventh Straight Bowl Game
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Football team will head to the postseason to play in the 2011 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. The Tigers (7-5 overall,5-4 in Big 12 play) will play on December 26th in Shreveport, Louisiana against the North Carolina Tar Heels (7-5 overall,3-5 in ACC play). The game will kickoff at 4:00 P.M. CT from Independence Stadium and will be televised live on ESPN2.
"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."
The game will mark MU's seventh-consecutive bowl game and eighth bowl appearance in the last nine seasons overall under Head Coach Gary Pinkel. Pinkel has passed College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine for most bowl appearances at Mizzou, with his eight bowl outings. The 2011 Independence Bowl appearance will be Mizzou's 29th bowl game overall, with MU holding a 12-16 mark in its previous 28 outings. The Tigers played in the Independence Bowl in 2003 and 2005. Mizzou beat South Carolina in 38-31 in 2005 but fell to Arkansas 27-14 in 2003.
"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."
Mizzou and North Carolina will be meeting for only the third time. Mizzou has a 2-0 series record after claiming 27-14 win in Chapel Hill in 1973 and 24-3 win in Columbia in 1976.
"It's really, really important. I heard Coach Pinkel mention earlier that if we win, it could possibly project us in the top 25 for next year. Knowing how much I love Mizzou, even though I won't be a part of the team next year, if I can do anything to help this team be successful, I'm going to do that," said Missouri Senior Safety Kenji Jackson. "It's just really important to me that we win this game and I'm very happy we made it to a bowl. The season started off with ups and downs, but we finished how we are supposed to and we are very blessed to be in the position we are in."
"We are still trying to tell the story of our season. It was a roller coaster type of season, but we finished it strong. If we finish with this last win, that will help us be nationally ranked and give us momentum going into next season," Missouri Senior Wide Receiver Jerrell Jackson said.