We found out Monday that starting quarterback James Franklin would be out at least three to five weeks due to a shoulder injury. That’s pretty good news considering the alternative, when the original prognosis was six weeks to season ending.
Missouri still faces a major problem however, in finding a way to generate offense against at least their next three opponents, possibly more. The rest of the schedule includes No. 22 Florida and No. 11 South Carolina before Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss and No. 7 Texas A&M. The next three contests are also all at home for Mizzou.
Freshman Maty Mauk was brought in to take the reigns over at some point, but it wasn’t expected to be now or any time this season. His first clutch pass attempts of the year came against Georgia this past week.
With this in mind, sophomore Corbin Berkstresser becomes a pretty intriguing prospect in a possible gameplan. He was used heavily at times last season, completing 88 of 177 passes for 1,059 yards and rushing 53 times on the season for 56 yards. Those aren’t great numbers, but they mean he has experience on his side.
Berkstresser wasn’t used at all on Saturday when Franklin went down, which is pretty telling, but with a whole week to devise a plan against the Florida Gators it’s possible we could see the big 6’3, 230 pound sophomore sometime along the way. A goal line situation might be a nice spot for him, or short yardage situations in general. As ineffective as Berkstresser was rushing last season (averaging a yard per attempt), Florida would
For now it’s probably safe to assume that Mauk will start and likely play a majority of the game if he plays adequately. Florida is down to their freshman quarterback as well after Jeff Driskell got hurt earlier in the season, so this could be a defensive battle royale. Just another reason for a surprise or two from coach Gary Pinkel, possibly including a two-quarterback system of some sort.