Mizzou Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel made it official, naming senior James Franklin the starting quarterback for the 2013 season. Franklin beat out redshirt freshman Maty Mauk (#2 on the depth chart) and last season’s backup Corbin Berkstresser, (#3 on the depth chart).
“James has shown that he’s very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that,” said Pinkel. “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.”
Through two major scrimmages this fall, Mauk threw for 361 yards, compared to 363 for Franklin, but James had a completion percentage of 70% (28-40) and Mauk just 55% (23-42). Franklin threw four touchdowns and one interception, Mauk had one touchdown and three interceptions.
Pinkel said that Mauk continued his positive strides, and that the staff is considering giving him some planned series per game to give him experience.
“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. 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,” he said.
It seems as though Berkstresser is on the outside looking in after getting his opportunity to spell Franklin last season. Berkstresser, at times, looked overwhelmed in SEC play and with the coaching staff considering a series for two for Mauk in game situations, it’s clear Mauk is the front runner for the starting job in 2014.