The Missouri Tigers have been dealing with heavy questions this week regarding the reason James Franklin did not take a pain-numbing injection for his sore shoulder, last Saturday.
Franklin stated that he didn’t want to take the shot, and therefore redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser started the game against the Pac 12’s Arizona State.
Berkstresser ran for a touchdown and threw for 198 yards as the Tigers won the game 24-20.
And while Berkstresser didn’t light it up, he did win and received much praise from his team mates.
“He’s a tough player, and reminds me of Blaine Gabbert," said Missouri Wide Receiver T.J. Moe.
Franklin’s decision to rest his painful shoulder, led to media outlets like Sports Radio 810 in Kansas City, and Columbia Tribune Columnist Dave Matter, to ask if players on the team were questioning Franklin’s “toughness” after declining the shot.
Regardless, with injuries to the offensive line, having a strong, tall 230-pound capable backup like Berkstresser is a good thing for Mizzou.
South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw knows all to well about sore shoulders. He has the same injury as Franklin and has been taking numbing shots for it all season. He did rest after re-injury last week against UAB, as back up Dylan Thompson threw for two scores in the victory. Coach Steve Spurrier says Shaw will play this week. Shaw is the better runner of the two.
Here’s what to expect Saturday as number eight South Carolina, takes on Missouri.
Prediction No. 1 - Missouri will need to throw the ball down the field. Offensive line injuries to Elvis Fisher and Jack Meiners have really hurt the team. They can’t seem to get highly-touted freshman receiver Dorial Green-Beckham down the field because they don’t have time.
South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney is very fast when it comes to defensive ends. Missouri will have to bring extra players in to chip against him if they plan to move the football with any success. South Carolina’s defense has allowed 262.3 passing yards a game.
Prediction No. 2 - South Carolina should not take Missouri’s defense for granted. The squad has gotten tougher each week. Missouri has also faced Georgia when they were ranked No. 7 two weeks ago. Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson had nine tackles, and applied the pressure against Arizona State. South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliot has openly discussed his frustration with the line play against UAB, and has suggested “changing things up”.
Missouri is very eager to get that first SEC win under their belt. Expect the unexpected against South Carolina. It would not be a surprise to see the team utilize both Franklin and Berkstresser at the quarterback position. While it is early in the season, Missouri is more battle tested than South Carolina and has played stronger opponents.
Prediction No. 3 - Expect South Carolina to win this game, but Missouri covering the 10-point spread and taking another small step at showing their strength in the SEC.