11/21/2013 - Missouri has its senior captain back at quarterback. Coach Gary Pinkel said Monday that James Franklin is "100 percent cleared" and will lead the eighth-ranked Tigers at Ole Miss this weekend after missing four starts with a sprained throwing shoulder. The quarterback had been enjoying a career season through five games and positioned his team for a win at Georgia on Oct. 12 before getting slammed to the ground by two defenders. "At first, you could tell that it hurt James a lot," center Evan Boehm said. "And the only thing you can do is go up and be like, `Hey, man, we're with you. We feel your pain. You're going to bounce back and you're going to be a great quarterback."
Franklin wasn't so sure he would be back after missing four starts with a myriad of injuries last season to his head, shoulder and legs. But a talk with his father, Willie, the day after the setback helped him realize there are many things in life to be more upset or sad about. "Even if they told me I would've been done for sure," Franklin said, "I would've worked as hard as I could to come back." The 6-foot-2, 230-pound native of Corinth, Texas, watched Missouri (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) compile a 3-1 record with redshirt freshman Maty Mauk, who had thrown three career passes before relieving Franklin against the Bulldogs. - AP Sports
11/11/2013 - Good news for Mizzou. James Franklin got back in a game for the first time in a month, although it was only in garbage time -- only five snaps and he didn't attempt a pass. "Our medical staff felt that [Franklin] could play on an emergency basis only," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel told reporters after the game. "We would be very limited in what we could call. ... Our whole thing was we did not want him to get touched."
Just to circle back on a report I had last month after Franklin went down in the Georgia game -- I tweeted that according to a source, Franklin "is expected to be out for at least the next six weeks, probably longer with a Grade 2 shoulder separation." Obviously, Franklin got back into a game sooner than the source had expected. By the way, CBS never reported that Franklin was out for the season, as a few folks on Twitter seem to think. Also with the Tigers off next week, it will be six weeks before Franklin attempts a pass in a game. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
10/15/2013 - Straight off the Don James Coaching Tree: Nick Saban's team is 6-0. Same as Gary Pinkel's. Pinkel's team went into Athens and knocked off the No. 7 Bulldogs to give the Tigers their first road win over a Top 10 opponent in 32 years. I know Georgia is really banged up. The Tigers can relate. They were rocked by injury last season, and as I reported Saturday, sustained another big blow when standout QB James Franklin left the game with a Grade 2 shoulder separation, as a source told CBSSports.com, adding that the dual-threat quarterback is expected to miss at least six weeks. On Sunday morning, Gary Pinkel confirmed that it was in fact a Grade 2 shoulder separation but said it was too soon for anyone to pronounce just how long Franklin will be out. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
10/14/2013 - Pinkel: James Franklin to miss 3-to-5 weeks with shoulder injury...Missouri received some highly welcome news from coach Gary Pinkel Monday, as he said quarterback James Franklin would not miss as much time as initially feared with his shoulder separation. Franklin fell on his right shoulder late in the Tigers' 41-26 upset of Georgia and suffered a separation, one Pinkel said afterward would keep him out "a while" and which CBSSports.com reported was expected to cost the senior a minimum of six weeks. But after testing, Pinkel said Monday that Franklin would only miss three-to-five weeks. Per the Columbia Daily-Tribune, Pinkel added that his quarterback's mood had improved dramatically after an emotional Saturday.
Pinkel confirmed that redshirt freshman Maty Mauk would get the start in this week's home game against Florida, with Corbin Berkstresser his backup. Assuming Franklin misses the minimum three weeks, he would not play in the Tigers' upcoming game against the Gators, their Oct. 26 home date with South Carolina, or the Nov. 2 home game against Tennessee. He would be questionable for the No. 9 away game at Kentucky.
With Mauk largely untested -- though he led the final two scoring drives of the Georgia game, he has attempted only 6 passes all season -- Franklin missing those critical games against the Gators and Gamecocks means his injury still looms as a potentially devastating blow to the Tigers' SEC East chances. But at least it's not a potential season-ender. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
10/13/2013 - Mizzou QB Franklin out six weeks...Missouri quarterback James Franklin will be out at least six weeks with a shoulder separation, according to CBSSports.com. Franklin was injured during Saturday's upset win over then-No. 7 Georgia. Coach Gary Pinkel said Sunday that Franklin has a Grade 2 separation but would not put a timetable on his recovery. He said "anything out there about how long he'll be out is false."
Franklin landed hard on the shoulder after being tackled early in the fourth quarter with Missouri up 28-26. He was replaced by backup Maty Mauk. After being treated in the locker room, Franklin was on the sideline with his shoulder iced and his arm in a sling. Franklin went 18 of 27 for 170 yards and rushed for 23 yards with a touchdown as Missouri jumped out to a 28-10 lead and eventually won 41-26. - The Sports Xchange
10/12/2013 - Critics may have chortled to themselves at Missouri's nonconference schedule, but after a 41-26 upset of No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, who's laughing now? Certainly not the Bulldogs, who saw their home winning streak snapped at 15, while Missouri defeated a Top 10 team at home for the first time in 32 years. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy coming down here," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "I said it in August and I said it in May: There is something about these guys that is really special."
The Tigers improved to 6-0 overall, 1-0 in the SEC, while Georgia fell to 4-2, 3-1. It was a costly win for the Tigers, though, as quarterback James Franklin suffered a separated throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter and is expected to miss several weeks. A source told ESPN that he will miss the rest of the regular season, although Pinkel did not want to give a specific time frame. - The Sports Xchange
10/08/2013 - WEEK 6 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: James Franklin, Missouri, threw for four TDs and the Tigers squashed any doubts about their early season schedule with a 51-28 victory at Vanderbilt. - AP Sports
10/08/2013 - There are a quartet of high-profile standout QBs in the SEC: Manziel, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger, but Mizzou's James Franklin shouldn't be lost in their wake. He threw four more TDs Saturday in the Tigers' 51-28 romp at Vandy. Franklin, who was banged up last year, reminded people how talented he is in the first month of the season. He has a 13-3 TD-INT ratio while completing 68 percent of his passes up from 59 percent last season. He's also averaging a career-high 5.2 yards per carry for the 5-0 Tigers. Mizzou is averaging 47 points per game, 21 points more than it did in 2012. The Tigers though will step up in class when they play an injury-ravaged Georgia team that is an 11-point favorite. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
10/06/2013 - James Franklin threw for four touchdowns and Missouri squashed any doubts about its early season schedule with a 51-28 victory at Vanderbilt Saturday. The Tigers moved to 5-0 and opened conference play without missing a beat in the program's first trip to Nashville as a member of the SEC. Vanderbilt, which won the last match up 19-15 in Columbia, Mo., last year, slipped to 0-3 in conference play and 3-3 overall. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who opened a season 5-0 for the fifth time in 13 seasons, credited his veteran quarterback for guiding the aggressive Tiger offense yet again. "James has been around a little bit. If he had stayed healthy last year, he would have played like this," Pinkel said. "This doesn't surprise me. I loved him last year. I'm very proud of him ... He is playing with some of the best quarterbacks, I think it's fair to say that."
Franklin guided Missouri on scoring drives on the first six Tiger possessions, which resulted in three touchdowns and three field goals. Missouri out-gained the Commodores 285-97 in the first half in taking a 30-7 lead. Franklin finished 19-for-28 for 278 yards passing and added another 63 yards on the ground. "He is a great quarterback. He is an exceptional athlete," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. "(We) couldn't pressure the quarterback ... You have to frustrate him before he goes through his progressions, and we weren't able to do that." - AP Sports
09/28/2013 - James Franklin orchestrated two lengthy touchdown drives and added another score on the ground in the second half to help Missouri break open a 41-19 win over Arkansas State in wet conditions Saturday night. Missouri scored 21 points in the final quarter to finish their nonconference schedule with a 4-0 record, playing their remaining eight games in the Southeastern Conference where they went 2-6 in their inaugural season a year ago.
Franklin led drives of 94 and 87 yards after his team trailed 16-14 with 11:31 remaining in the third quarter. The Tigers failed to convert any of their four third-down opportunities and only possessed the ball for 9:12 in the first half. Adam Kennedy tied a school record with 37 completions for 308 yards and J.D. McKissic caught a school-record 15 receptions for 117 yards for Arkansas State (2-3). - AP Sports
09/21/2013 - James Franklin threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive end Kony Ealy returned an interception 49 yards for a score to lead Missouri past Indiana 45-28 on Saturday night. The Tigers (3-0) won in Bloomington for the first time since 1953 and ended an eight-game winless streak in this series, though the teams hadn't played since 1992. Indiana (2-2) was led by Nate Sudfeld who threw for 229 yards and one TD, but he was picked off three times. The Hoosiers are now off until hosting Penn State on Oct. 5.
It was the only regular-season meeting between schools from the Big Ten and SEC, but the highly-anticipated shootout became a one-sided affair after the Hoosiers tied the score at 14 midway through the second quarter. Franklin broke the tie with his 1-yard TD run. Then 275-pound Ealy picked off Sudfeld and scored to make it 28-14. - AP Sports
09/07/2013 - James Franklin made crucial big plays on consecutive scoring drives in the second half and Missouri pulled away from Toledo for a 38-23 victory on Saturday. Missouri (2-0) led 24-23 after Toledo (0-2) scored its first two touchdowns of the year but Franklin's 21-yard keeper set up Henry Josey's second 1-yard touchdown run of the game which extended Missouri's lead to eight.
The quarterback later had a 6-yard carry on fourth-and-3 and an 11-yard gain on third-and-9 to set up Marcus Murphy's 8-yard run to conclude the scoring with 10:29 to go. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel beat the school at which he's a Hall of Famer and the career wins leader with the help of a few goofs by the visitors. Toledos' David Fluellen had 111 yards on 14 carries and 10 catches for 100 yards. - AP Sports
09/05/2013 - Scouting the Missouri passing game: After a visit with an outside quarterback coach last spring, James Franklin changed his footwork. It showed against Murray State, as more active feet in the pocket allowed him to scan receivers and square his shoulders more efficiently. The result? 318 passing yards to 11 different receivers. That variety should help Missouri become less predictable in the passing game this season. - The Sports Xchange
09/05/2013 - Tigers employ high-pace tempo...Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Henson made his debut against an FCS team, but in the first game in his new role, the results were promising. The Tigers (1-0) ran 87 plays and 694 yards against Murray State in a 58-14 win on Saturday. The yardage total was second all-time, falling short of the record 744 set against Western Illinois in 2011. All offseason, Henson preached tempo with his offense and against the Racers, he made good on that promise.
hose 87 plays came in 29:19 of possession, an average of one play every 20.2 seconds. In the first half, however, Missouri ran 56 plays in 15:15 of possession for an average of a play every 16.3 seconds. In 2012, when Missouri's offense struggled, the Tigers' averaged a play every 24.8 seconds. It doesn't sound like a huge change, but Missouri's staff was pleased with the pace on Saturday. "Almost the whole second half, we quit the tempo," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "We just did a little bit, we just got out of it. If you can do it, and you can execute it well -- you've got to get some first downs -- I think there's a lot of good things." - The Sports Xchange
09/01/2013 - WEEK 1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: James Franklin, Missouri, threw for 318 yards and three TDs before coming out early in the third quarter, helping the Tigers take command after early struggles and whip Murray State 58-14. - AP Sports
08/26/2013 - OTHER MISSOURI PROSPECTS WORTH WATCHING: QB James Franklin (6-2, 230, 4.72)...As dual-threat quarterbacks were all the rage in the NFL a year ago, grizzled defensive coordinators across the league quietly suggested that the best way to stop them was to inflict a little pain upon them each time they touched the ball. SEC coaches took the same tact with Franklin, who struggled with injury in his first season of SEC football after lighting up the Big 12 for 3,846 total yards and 36 touchdowns in 2012.
Franklin showed toughness in playing in nine games (eight starts) but watched his completion percentage drop from 63% to 59% and ultimately threw just 10 touchdowns against seven interceptions. When healthy, Franklin is a terror to contain and has plenty of arm strength to make every NFL pass. He'll need a strong bounce-back campaign, however, to ease concerns about less-than-ideal accuracy. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/16/2013 - Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is going with senior James Franklin to start at quarterback for the Tigers. Pinkel said Franklin, who was dogged by injuries last season, beat out redshirt freshman Maty Mauk for the job. He felt it was important to make an announcement well ahead of the Aug. 31 opener against Murray State. ''James has shown that he's very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that,'' Pinkel said Thursday night in a release. ''He's really developed as a leader of this offense, and of this team, and we feel he's ready to be the difference-maker he was before all of the health challenges he dealt with last season.''
Pinkel added the coaching staff is considering giving Mauk planned series in games to give him experience. Sophomore Corbin Berkstresser started four games last year when Franklin was sidelined and also had been in the competition. Three former Missouri quarterbacks are in the NFL. Franklin is among those who got regular work as the backup, seeing limited playing time in 2010 behind Blaine Gabbert, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Future Heisman Trophy finalist and New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel got his feet wet backing up Brad Smith, a longtime wide receiver in the NFL. ''We have a history with that, and it's something that has worked very well for us,'' Pinkel said. Franklin opened fall workouts atop the depth chart and was named one of four captains on the first day of practice. Pinkel emphasized repeatedly at that point that the honor did not guarantee the starting job. - AP Sports
08/14/2013 - 2013 JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD WATCHLIST: James Franklin, Missouri,...Had a challenging season in 2012, as injuries both to him, as well as all over the offensive line, played a major factor in a drop in production by the Tiger offense ... Ended the year with nine appearances, and made eight starts as injuries kept him out of three games altogether ... Also was knocked out of two games in which he started - games against Vanderbilt and Syracuse in which he was performing at a very high level before having to leave ... Ended the year with 1,562 passing yards and 10 TDs, while his health limited him to just 122 yards rushing and no TDs. - Missouri football
08/01/2013 - James Franklin opens fall camp as Missouri's starting quarterback and one of the captains, too. Coach Gary Pinkel approves of the choices teammates made for all four captains. He emphasized after the first fall practice that the honor is no guarantee Franklin will be making the calls when the season begins. ''It has absolutely nothing to do with him or anybody else being captain and keeping their jobs,'' Pinkel said Thursday night. ''I think he's learned a lot and I think he's tougher mentally.'' During the disclaimer, Pinkel also said that all his years of coaching he could think of only a handful of players who were coaches and couldn't hold the starting spot.
The return of running back Henry Josey, coming off a serious left knee injury that sidelined him all last season, will be a plus no matter who's taking the snaps. Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk and Corbin Berkstresser, who made four starts when Franklin was injured last season, are also in the mix. Franklin's setbacks were among the disappointments in a 5-7 season that ended a string of eight bowl appearances. Soft-spoken by nature, Franklin decided in the offseason he'd try to be a vocal leader on a team trying to prove it belongs in the SEC after stumbling last year. ''It feels really good knowing the guys picked me to lead them in good times and bad times,'' Franklin said. ''Hopefully, we'll have a lot more good times.'' - AP Sports
07/19/2013 - 2013 DAVEY O'BRIEN WATCH LIST: James Franklin, Missouri...Franklin put on an attention-grabbing performance as a sophomore in 2011, recording a stout 3,846 yards of total offense and 36 total touchdowns. He enters his final season at Mizzou looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued junior campaign in 2012. The Tiger has passed for 4,533 yards in his career with 32 touchdown tosses, while scoring 17 times on the ground. - Missouri football
07/16/2013 - James Franklin didn't have much of a 2012 season. But he's still in the driver's seat when it comes to keeping his job for the 2013 season. Before his appearance at SEC Media Days, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel confirmed to reporters that Franklin, a senior, will be the team's No. 1 quarterback entering fall camp. A final decision could be made in mid-August.
After spring, Pinkel suggested that Franklin might have had an edge, but said he was happy to take the competition with sophomores Maty Mauk and Corbin Berkstresser into August. Though that competition will continue, with the majority of the offseason now behind the candidates, it's clear Mauk and Berkstresser have their work cut out for them to claim the job from Franklin before the season starts.
Pinkel added that he expected Franklin to bounce back from his injury-riddled 2012, saying per the Columbia Daily Tribune he had "never seen a guy go through" the kind of injury problems that Franklin did in 2012. As a result of the plague of injuries that struck the Tigers and hampered their SEC debut, Pinkel said the team would scale back their two-a-days in fall camp and "back off our hitting." Those moves might help Franklin make the season opener against Murray State in one piece -- and if he does, clearly the odds are that he's going to take the Tigers' first snap of the season. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com