Franklin to take No. 1 spot into preseason

The Missouri quarterback battle is still likely to go until August, but for now it’s the incumbent’s job.

Pinkel said Wednesday senior James Franklin is currently the No. 1 quarterback, followed by redshirt freshman Maty Mauk at No. 2 and sophomore Corbin Berkstresser at No. 3.

It’s the first time since opening up the job after last season Pinkel has acknowledged Franklin as the team’s top quarterback.

“It will still be competitive,” Pinkel said. “That’s not going to change. I think that’s healthy as it is in every position. We’ll see where it goes.”

Franklin was the best of the three quarterbacks this spring as he battled to keep the job he’s had for the last two seasons. He ended the spring by completing 9-of-15 passes for 80 yards in Saturday’s Black and Gold Game.

Berkstresser and Mauk struggled in the scrimmage. Mauk completed just 6-of-17 passes for 72 yards and two interceptions. Berkstresser wasn’t much better as he completed 9-of-18 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions.

Franklin said Saturday he was glad to finally be healthy after enduring a year of injuries that saw him miss parts of five games. The injuries certainly played a part in his dropoff in production as his completion percentage and yards both dropped dramatically from the previous season.

In other news, Pinkel reiterated his stance Wednesday he is in favor of eight league games as opposed to nine.

“Most coaches like eight games,” Pinkel said. “One of the reasons is because it’s such a tough league as it is. It would have a huge effect on your four nonconference games going down to three.”

Currently teams play six games against teams from their own division, one rival every year from the opposite division and one rotating game against the other five teams in the opposite division each year.

That means in some cases, teams could go 12 years between visits to an opposing team’s campus.

Pinkel did say he believes television will have its say on what it wants to see as far as scheduling goes.

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