Posted: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 1:20PM

James Franklin has Mizzou offense rolling



Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- Mizzou’s offense continued to roll in a 45-28 win over Indiana on Saturday, and much of that is thanks to the play of a healthy senior quarterback in James Franklin.

Franklin’s strong start has him sitting at 11th in the NCAA in total offense through three games at 351.7 yards per game, which included a career-best 404 yards of total offense last Saturday.

The fast start may come as a surprise to some after he suffered through an injury-plagued junior season, but this kind of performance is something head coach Gary Pinkel knew Franklin had in him.

"I thought James was going to be a great quarterback. Coming off shoulder surgery, it all changed a little bit, but it does not surprise me at all. I know it (his start) surprises a lot of people out there,” Pinkel said. “He came off a great sophomore year. We are really consistent with the sophomores we have. But I am going to say it again so it is clear. I had more injuries with James in one year than I did in quarterback injuries combined in my 21 years of coaching. It certainly was not a lack of effort on his part."

Getting healthy has been key for Franklin, but the experience that comes with being a senior has helped immensely this season as well.

"It seems like a lot has slowed down. It is like I needed contacts until now. It just seems like your mind works a lot faster, and more thoughts are going through my head,” Franklin said. “For example, different possibilities on a certain throw. I think things like should I back shoulder this, make it a jump ball, etc. Those are the things that go through my head."

Franklin has also been a threat in Tigers’ 17th ranked rushing attack. Russell Hansbrough and Henry Josey lead the way with 239 and 186 rushing yards, respectively, but Franklin is right there with 182 yards on the ground to go with his 873 through the air.

“I like to see him run. He is a playmaker, and a fun kid to watch,” senior wide receiver Marcus Lucas said. “When he is running and scrambling out, it is fun to try to get into scramble drill mode and things like that."

Whether he is scrambling or passing from the pocket, Franklin’s decision-making this season is improved as well.

"James has taken a lot of time this offseason doing a lot of reads, and not centering or predetermining who he is going to throw to,” Lucas said. “He has done a good job of letting it come to him during the game, and I think that is helping him out. He is really relaxed back there and not overdoing anything."

Mizzou returns home with its eight-ranked scoring offense to take on Arkansas State (2-2) this Saturday.

CLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES AHEAD OF MIZZOU'S GAME WITH ARKANSAS STATE

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Mizzou 38, South Dakota State 18


The Tigers won their opening game of the season in front of 60,000 people.

Pictures: Strafford XC Meet


Springfield Catholic swept the team titles while Tabitha Weber and Daylan Quinn clenched individual gold medals.

Pictures: Top 100 Photos of Week 2 Football


Catch the 100 best photos from the second week of the football season.
Videos
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Week 2 Football Recap
Who were the big players from Week 2 football? What do you have to look forward to in Week 3. I cover it all here. See all of Week Two's top plays in the video above. Big Man on Campus Johnny Healy, Mountain Grove – Often...
Read More
5 Takeaways from Mizzou's win over SDSU
Mizzou opened its football season with a 38-18 win over FCS opponent South Dakota State on Saturday. Here are five things I am taking away from the first game of the season. PICTURES: MIZZOU VS. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - CLICK HERE 1. It is a good thing...
Read More
Win or lose, 2014's the turning point for Bears' program
 The freshness of a new season offers a chance for a fresh start, hope and the promise of a better future.   And if you’ve been a Missouri State football fan or follower for any part of the past two and a half decades, you know no team...
Read More
Most Viewed