SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Missouri will face North Carolina in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.
North Carolina is playing in its fourth bowl game in a row -- the program's longest such streak since a seven-year stretch from 1992-98. The Tar Heels finished the season with a 7-5 record, including a 3-5 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
North Carolina won five of its first six games before losing four of the past six.
Missouri is playing in its seventh-consecutive bowl game, which is a program record. The Tigers have a 7-5 record this season, including a 5-4 mark in the Big 12.
Missouri and North Carolina will be playing in football for only the third time. The Tigers won the previous two meetings in 1973 and 1976.
MU Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Alnutt says, “we graciously accepted that invitation and we will be playing in that game on December 26. Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m. central time. It will be aired on ESPN2. We are excited to be in this position to announce that we are participating in our seventh consecutive bowl game and eighth in nine years.”
“We will start practicing next Friday,” says Coach Gary Pinkel. “We’ve had several models organized to start practicing next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We will have to tweak it a little bit, but we’ll have that done by tomorrow. That won’t affect us at all and we’ll get going on Friday.”
Senior S. Kenji Jackson says, ““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. 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.”