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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.

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Spurrier Says Shaw’s Practice Today Will Determine USC’s Starting QB For UAB

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw missed last Saturday’s blowout win over East Carolina with badly bruised throwing shoulder.  Depending on how that shoulder holds up today in practice, Shaw will either start or sit versus UAB in two days.

Steve Spurrier said yesterday that he will have to “see if he can throw full-go Thursday before we’ll know if Connor is able to play.”


“If he can throw it down the field without any pain, he’ll start Saturday night.  If he can’t throw anything but screen passes, I think we’ve got to let (Dylan Thompson) play.”


Spurrier has been quick to say that the starting job will go back to Shaw when he’s fit.  But after Thompson’s passing performance last Saturday — 27-of-31 for 330 yards and three touchdowns — it’s a good bet Shaw fears being Wally Pipp’d in Columbia.  (Look it up.)

Meanwhile, receiver Damiere Byrd told The Charleston Post & Courier that Shaw “is looking good” and is “getting better.”

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