With starting quarterback James Franklin out indefinitely with a shoulder sprain, Missouri backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser has already been asked to take the stress (*elbow nudge* amirite?!?!?) out of making sure the Tigers offense is ready to go no matter what when they enter SEC play for the first time this fall.
And in today’s first spring scrimmage, the redshirt freshman got his initial taste of being a starting quarterback for Mizzou. Berkstresser’s numbers weren’t fantastic — 10-of-25 for 105 yards — but that’s to be expected; Franklin may not have done any better himself had he participated. Here’s what Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune had to say about Berkstresser’s day:
That’s not the most aesthetically pleasing stat line for Berkstresser, but he did some good things guiding the first-team offense against the first-team defense. Most important, he didn’t turn the ball over. He occasionally gets himself in trouble by rushing his delivery and overthrowing his receivers, but he put together an impressive 2-minute drill in his final series.
What’s invaluable are the reps. Franklin took nearly 100 percent of the snaps last season for the Tigers, and with the incumbent starter out for now, that leaves Berkstresser, junior Ashton Glaser and Alex Demczak as the remaining options at QB.
Statistically, Berkstresser probably had the best day of the three, as Glaser and Demczak combined for five interceptions. But when Franklin returns and the season draws closer, it’s only natural that Franklin will get the majority of the reps. That means Berkstresser has to take full advantage of his first-team time now.
There may be a moment when he’s asked to take them in game situations next season.
(Photo courtesy of MU athletics)