Posted: Aug 15, 2013 8:12 PM by Ashley Colley, KOMU 8 Producer
Updated: Aug 15, 2013 8:36 PM
COLUMBIA - Senior Missouri Tiger James Franklin has officially won the starting quarterback job .
Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel announced Franklin as the 2013 starter on Thursday evening, following the second scrimmage of fall camp. Throughout the spring season and the first part of fall camp, Franklin had been competing with redshirt freshman Maty Mauk for the top spot.
"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. "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."
Even though Franklin was named one of four senior captains on August 1 when fall camp opened, Pinkel said that didn't make him a starter and he would have to earn the spot. In the first two scrimmages of fall camp, Franklin completed 27 passes on 40 attempts for 363 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception while Mauk was 23 for 42 for 361 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
Pinkel is optimistic that having a senior leader such as Franklin will help Mauk continue to grow as a quarterback and prepare him for when his time comes.
"We have a history with that, and it's something that has worked very well for us. When Brad Smith was a senior, we had Chase Daniel as a freshman show that he earned a series or two per game, and that was tremendous for his growth," Pinkel said. "When Blaine Gabbert was in his last year here, James Franklin was a freshman, and we got him some work on a fairly regular basis, and we feel that was instrumental in what he was able to do the next year as a starter."
Mizzou will open the 2013 football season at home against Murray State on Saturday, August 31 at 6 p.m. CT.