Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- There is one thing that Mizzou Coach Gary Pinkel definitely was happy to take away from Missouri’s 58-14 win over Murray State.
“We are healthy. I think that allows us to get fundamentally better and get better as offensive and defensive units,” Pinkel said.
Henry Josey has made it all the way back after his massive knee injury two seasons ago and looked strong in the Tigers’ opener.
“He looked really good Saturday,” Pinkel said. “It was just a really great day for our football team and our fans to see him overcome all of this adversity and a very serious injury.”
He showed he still has game-breaking speed on a 68-yard touchdown run down the right side as he finished with 113 yards on 13 carries.
Quarterback James Franklin also showed that a healthy James Franklin is a very dangerous James Franklin.
The senior quarterback was 26-for-38 through the air against Murray State for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He also had six carries for 50 yards.
All of this was a welcome sight for Pinkel after watching Franklin through an injury-plagued 2012.
“James went through a lot last year. I tell people he had more injuries in one year than in the previous 22 years injuries combined for a quarterback since I have had since I have been coaching,” Pinkel said. “I think he became tougher mentally. He became more determined to prove himself. His leadership changed. He is leading at a different level than he did before. His resiliency has changed. He is just a lot different player out there.”
Now the attention switches to Pinkel’s old program Toledo. Pinkel is the all-time winningest coach in the program’s history as he posted 73-37-3 record in 10 seasons there.
The Rockets opened the season with a 24-6 loss to Florida as they only managed 50 total yards rushing.
Pinkel and the Tigers are not taking Toledo lightly as they know full well the program’s ability to knock off bigger schools.
"They have a rich tradition of playing well outside of their league, beating a lot of good football teams. So we recognize that and have respect for that," Pinkel said on Monday.
The Tigers kick off against Toledo starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Columbia.
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