Franklin leads Missouri past North Carolina

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Associated Press
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
— North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers didn’t blame the distraction of the program’s upcoming coaching change. Instead, he blamed Missouri quarterback James Franklin.

Franklin ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, and the Tigers easily beat the Tar Heels, 41-24, in the Independence Bowl on Monday night.

“He’s just such a dynamic guy running and throwing that you have to respect both,” Withers said.

For North Carolina (7-6), a season that started with a promising 5-1 record ended with a lopsided loss. The Tar Heels lost five of their final seven under Withers, who leaves to become defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.

Now the UNC program belongs to Larry Fedora, who left Southern Miss after a 12-2 season to lead the Tar Heels.

Kendial Lawrence rush-ed for 108 yards and a TD as the Tigers racked up 337 yards on the ground.

Missouri (8-5) ends the season on a four-game winning streak for the first time since 1965.

Franklin, a sophomore, was named the game’s offensive Most Valuable Player. He rushed for 142 yards and threw for 132 despite less than ideal conditions.

Last updated: 7:02 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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