There’s the shoulder issue that’s lingered into the regular season. There’s the painkiller “controversy” as a result of that shoulder issue. There’s the largely ineffective play in a second consecutive SEC loss.
Despite that, there’s one thing there won’t be for Missouri — a change at quarterback.
With the game out of hand late in the fourth quarter, James Franklin was lifted by head coach Gary Pinkel in favor of Corbin Berkstresser, who started last weekend’s win over Arizona State due to Franklin’s shoulder/painkiller issue. Berkstresser led the Tigers to their lone touchdown on the day against South Carolina, a garbage-time score that, for whatever reason, allowed the dreaded QB controversy to rear its ugly head.
Pinkel, though, was succinct in declaring nothing has changed at the position.
“It was the end of the game, the fourth quarter,” the coach said when asked about Berkstresser’s insertion into the huddle, emphatically adding, “James Franklin’s our starter.”
Franklin wasn’t exactly horrible in the 31-10 loss to the Gamecocks, but simply couldn’t gain any type of traction or rhythm against a defense that was much more physical and athletic than anything the uptempo Tigers were used to seeing in the Big 12. While the junior completed eight-of-11 passes and didn’t throw an interception, he was able to muster just 92 yards through the air.
The best news for Mizzou on what was a lost SEC weekend? Health-wise, Franklin appears to have come out of the game without aggravating the injury.
“I’m surprised it didn’t hurt worse,” he said. “It was a little frustrating, but thankfully it didn’t make” the injury “worse.”
“I’m sure on some throws it kind of hurt my confidence,” he added, “because … I was a little worried about it. But for the most part I don’t think it really affected anything.”