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Missouri’s Pinkel Making The Right Call With QB Switch

james-franklin-mu-new-uni“You can’t lose your job due to injury.”

That’s an idea from a by-gone age and you can look up the name Wally Pipp to see just how by-gone that age really was.  Now I’m not going to speak for the other guys who write for this site on this one as they may have a different view of things, but if not for injury, my fave team the Patriots would have never found Tom Brady.  And as much I liked Drew Bledsoe, Brady’s one of the best to ever play the game.

So when I say Gary Pinkel is making the right move in switching back from Maty Mauk to a now healthy James Franklin I do so based on football facts and on-field evidence.  The redshirt freshman QB has filled in admirably for the Tigers in Franklin’s absence, but the senior is the better player.

Mauk has played in seven games this season.  He’s run the ball 36 times for 160 yards and a touchdown.  That’s a 5.1 yards per carry average.  That’s good.  But Franklin’s numbers — from six games — are also good 65 carries, 290 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, and three scores.

Passing the ball there’s not even a contest:

 

  Player   Comp-Att   Comp%   Yards   Yards/Att   TDs   INTs   QB Rating   Yards/Gm
  Franklin   132-195   67.7%   1577   8.1   14   3   156.23   262.8
  Mauk   62-120   51.7%   951   7.9   10   2   142.41   135.9

 

Taking things a step further, if you look at Missouri’s production against BCS foes (Indiana, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky) you’ll find that the Mizzou offense has been more productive with Franklin at the controls.

Franklin has appeared in four of those aforementioned games.  He’s led 37 drives (not counting clock-killers at the end of a half or kneel downs at the end of a game).  Fourteen of those drives have ended in touchdowns.  (It would be 15 if we had counted the drive that he and Mauk split following Franklin’s injury versus Georgia.)  Franklin has led Mizzou to a TD in 37.8% of the drives he’s quarterbacked.

Mauk, on the other hand, has led the Tigers to 18 touchdowns (again, not counting the split-drive at Georgia) in 55 drives.  One of those TDs was a 25-yarder in overtime.  Another was a one-play, four-yard run by Henry Josey after a blocked punt last week in Lexington.  Even with those two touchdown drives counted — and we are being generous — the Tiger offense still managed TDs just 32.7% of the time with Mauk at the wheel.

That’s not to say Mauk hasn’t done well.  The Tigers went 3-1 in SEC play with a backup quarterback.  That’s not easy even if the wins do come over Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Mauk deserves credit for a job well done and Tiger fans can look forward to his growth in the future.  But Franklin deserves the starting quarterback job.  If he plays now as he did before his shoulder injury, Mizzou could absolutely win its last two against Ole Miss and Texas A&M and roll right on into Atlanta as SEC East champions.

 


3 comments
bpa_kc
bpa_kc

A healthy James Franklin is definitely better at this point in his career (senior) than is Mauk (rs freshman)...  I just hope that Franklin is truly 100% physically AND mentally.  He was just so bad last season after coming off a shoulder injury... and I am not sure if Mauk will be as successful if he has to replace an under-performing Franklin mid-game.  After all, Franklin will likely be getting the lion's share of the 1st team snaps in practice (which he needs after the long lay-off).

As someone who is both a Tigers fan and a Chiefs fan... I am getting bad flashbacks of the Rich Gannon/Elvis Grbac fiasco from the  mid 90's... 

Bootheel
Bootheel

Good teams adapt and Mizzou looks like a good team this year.  Maty Mauk was baptized by fire at Georgia and has performed admirably in the next four starts, but clearly Franklin is more mature and seasoned.  A side note, Mauk has stated it is Franklin's team and is taking the sidelines with grace.  I will feel more comfortable at Oxford with Franklin running the offense, but that is going to be a tough game who ever is in the backfield though.  The good news is that the QB position looks pretty good for next year already.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Not arguing the point -- I also want Franklin starting against Ole Miss. But, another injury find right here in St. Louis that is a classic ---- Kurt Warner when Trent Green went down. Rams went on to win the Super Bowl that year, Warner was NFL MVP --- and the rest is history. LIkely Warner will be in the Hall OF Fame.

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