In the immediate aftermath of Missouri’s “upset” win over Georgia Saturday, head coach Gary Pinkel confirmed that starting quarterback James Franklin would be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time due to a separated shoulder.
A report subsequently surfaced that Franklin would be out until at least the second-to-last game of the regular season, with another stating that Franklin’s regular season is over. While that may ultimately be the case, the coach is not yet ready to declare that part of Franklin’s season DOA.
Ashley Colley of KOMU-TV tweeted Sunday morning that “Pinkel says any specific numbers floating around on how long QB Franklin is out are false.” A final determination, Pinkel said, will come in the next 48 hours.
Now that the team is back in Columbia, more extensive testing will determine exactly how long Franklin is expected to miss.
Given the nature of the injury to his right (throwing) shoulder, and the fact that Pinkel reiterated this morning that the player will be sidelined for a few weeks, it’s a near-certainty Franklin will miss huge games against Florida and South Carolina the next two Saturdays.
If as expected Franklin is unavailable, the onus for leading the Tigers’ offense in a pair of games that could very well decide the SEC East will fall on Maty Mauk.
The redshirt freshman, whose brother Ben Mauk played quarterback at Wake Forest and Cincinnati after setting a slew of national high school passing records, replaced Franklin following his fourth-quarter injury and completed all three of his passes, the last of which went for 20 yards and set up the game-clinching touchdown two plays later. On the first play after entering the game and facing a third-and-six, Mauk ran for six to extend a drive that led to a touchdown that put the Tigers up by eight with just over nine minutes to play.
A Parade All-American coming out of high school in Ohio — where he shattered most of his brother’s passing marks, incidentally — Mauk was a three-star member of Mizzou’s 2012 recruiting class. He was rated as the No. 20 pro-style quarterback in that class.