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Franklin returns to starting lineup vs. stout Florida defense

Missouri quarterback James Franklin runs the ball during the first quarter of last month’s game against Vanderbilt at Faurot Field.

Missouri quarterback James Franklin runs the ball during the first quarter of last month’s game against Vanderbilt at Faurot Field. Photo by News Tribune.

COLUMBIA — The good news for Missouri is starting quarterback James Franklin is back and healthy.

The bad news is he steps right into the fire against one of the country’s best defenses.

Missouri heads to “The Swamp” to take on No. 8 Florida (11 a.m., ESPN2-TV) today as Franklin starts for the first time in nearly a month. With Franklin out, the Tigers (4-4, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) have failed to garner any type of a momentum on offense.

That seemed to change when Franklin came in during the third quarter of Missouri’s win against Kentucky last Saturday.

“He’s a battler, and I had him in my office and I told him how proud I was of him,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “He came into the season and he expected to be a great player and help us win. He’s just been through an awful lot personally from an injury standpoint. He’s a guy who didn’t miss a down the year before.”

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