Franklin Reflects On Game, Looks Forward

Missouri quarterback James Franklin threw for 269 yards and 2 TDs in the Tigers historic SEC opening game on Saturday. He was cited by the SEC for his performance, and on Monday answered questions about it and the game.

Following his team's 41-20 loss to Georgia, Missouri QB James Franklin was cited by the Southeastern Conference for his outstanding week 2 performance.  Against Georgia, Franklin was 25-41-1 for 269 yards and 2 TDs passing.

On Monday, Franklin patiently fielded questions from the media. 

"I feel pretty good,"  said Franklin, following the pounding he took on Saturday.   "To be honest, today I'm not as sore as I thought I would be.  They were definitely some big guys.  They were physical.  I mean, they're a great defense, and they're physical…………………………………………….  It may not look like it, but I was actually running safer.   I think some of it was smart running."

He talked about the affect that Georgia's pass rush had on him.

"I think the overall pressure from (Jarvis Jones) and a couple of their players early on when I was getting rushed and they were right there, it made me start thinking later on in the game that I was getting pressured when really I wasn't,"  explained Franklin.   "So, I think what happened in the beginning of the game had an affect on me towards the end of the game…………………………………….. I was letting that affect some of my passing later on, because I would start to feel pressure that wasn't even there. And so I was trying to anticipate throws, so it was way off and incomplete, something like that.   I think that was the biggest thing I saw (on film), was that I made myself feel pressure that wasn't there.  So, that's one thing that I definitely want to work on and just staying in there more and trusting a lot better."

Against Georgia, Missouri ran the football 39 times for 188 yards rushing (4.8 yards/carry).   But, the Tigers had 86 yards lost, so they ended up with a net rushing total of 102 yards.  Coach Pinkel explained the lost yardage.

"We ran for 188 yards,"   explained Coach Pinkel.   "We had 86 negative yards.   If you look at the 86 yards, you'll find that 56 of them were totally self-inflicted.  One was the QB-center exchange that rolled all of the way back to the 4-yard line.   You add that up with the QB-TB exchange.  That's just Mizzou beating Mizzou.  We took a loss on that, and we lost the football.   As you remember, we started second and four on the 9-yard line.  The other one was the intentional grounding.   That's 56 yards of the 86 yards………………………………………… We've just got to execute better." 

Coach Pinkel went on to talk about the challenge of playing QB when things up front are not going 

"Let me tell you something,"  said Coach Pinkel.  "It's very difficult to play QB, when first of all the snaps, the problems we had with that, and also with the inexperienced offensive line.  And, that's not easy.  Okay?   He would never say that.    Nobody will say that.   We're going to have to live with it.  But, I'm trying to tell you, a lack of continuity affects that position.   That's something that we just have to work through."

Franklin was asked about why his helmet came off during the game, which had forced him to go to the sideline for one play each time.   Franklin explained that the first time his helmet came off, it was because the Georgia players were lifted him up by his shoulder pads and his helmet was forced off by the pressure of his shoulder pads. He said that the second time his helmet came off because one of the Georgia player pulled it off. Scars just lateral to Franklin's left eye lent evidence to the force with which his helmet was ripped off.

"Definitely, it is frustrating,"  said Franklin, talking about having to come out of the game when an opponent rips his helmet off.   "I try to make adjustments so that they can't just pop it off."

Franklin admitted that he expects teams to continue to try to send him to the sideline by ripping his helmet off.  More questions continued.

It was then that T.J. Moe stepped in and put his arm around Franklin's shoulders. 

"It's a stupid rule that will be gone after the season,"  interjected Moe, coming in to defend his QB.  "It's the stupidest rule ever put in college football."

"You heard it here, live,"  laughed Franklin, looking at Moe. 

"If my quarterback leaves the game one more time because his helmet's ripped off,"  said Moe,   "I'm going to lose it.  Why don't you blow the whistle instead of waiting ten seconds to blow it?  How about that?"

Coach Pinkel weighed in on the helmet rule.

"First of all, I don't remember a helmet coming off of a QB ever,"  said an obviously agitated Coach Pinkel.  "It happened in a scrum.  I don't know how it got off.  I'm our players didn't take it off, and I'm sure he didn't take it off………………………………………. Obviously, the helmet's getting ripped off in a pile.   And, all of a sudden, you have to put your back-up QB in………………………………………………. Every single time his chin strap was snapped off.  It didn't just slide off.  So, I don't know what to say."


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