ATHENS, Ga. — Missouri lost arguably its best players on both offense and defense during Saturday’s 41-26 victory at No. 7 Georgia.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Senior quarterback James Franklin left in the fourth quarter because of a separated shoulder, while senior cornerback E.J. Gaines, a Fort Osage graduate, left because of a right quad strain early in the second quarter and did not return.
MU coach Gary Pinkel said after the game Franklin would miss a few weeks but did not specify his recovery time.
“James has a separation,” Pinkel said. “To what degree, we’re not sure. As soon as we know Sunday or Monday, we’ll make that public.”
Shortly after Pinkel’s comments, CBS Sports college football columnist Bruce Feldman, citing an anonymous source, reported Franklin’s injury was a Grade II separation and that Franklin would miss at least six weeks. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, also citing an anonymous source, reported Franklin would miss the Tigers’ six remaining regular-season games.
If Franklin is out six weeks, he would miss all but the Tigers’ regular-season finale against Texas A&M on Nov. 30.
It was unclear exactly when Franklin suffered the injury. There was an awkward throwaway near the sideline when Franklin appeared to be hit and driven to the ground. He stayed in for another play, a 4-yard run when uncharacteristically he stepped out of bounds.
Missouri then called a timeout, and Franklin headed to the locker room.
The is no official timetable for Gaines’ return either.
Mauk strong in relief
Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk wasn’t asked to make a lot of plays in the final 10 minutes, 35 seconds after coming in for Franklin, but he made a few critical conversions.
On his first snap, Mauk kept the ball on a designed run on third and 6. He bounced off a few tackles, picking up a first down by the length of the football.
“Everybody told me to keep calm and (just be) you,” said Mauk, who was three for three passing for 23 yards and added three carries for 12 yards. “We scored when we needed to and got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
Mauk also completed a 20-yard strike into the Georgia red zone on the heels of Randy Ponder’s interception as the Tigers iced the win. Sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham made a great adjustment on the ball, which set up Missouri at the Georgia 12.
Mauk picked up 5 yards on first down, and junior Henry Josey followed with a game-clinching 7-yard touchdown.
Missouri finished with an uncharacteristic 10 penalties for 57 yards, including four offside penalties — and at least one other that was declined.
Entering the game, the Tigers had committed 20 penalties for 174 yards, both the fewest in the Southeastern Conference.
“It’s embarrassing to say this, but we had guys lined up offside,” Pinkel said. “They wanted to get so tight to the line of scrimmage, so they could come off that ball.”
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.