Franklin, Missouri hoping for better 2013 (VIDEO)
Originally published July 16, 2013 at 9:01 p.m., updated July 16, 2013 at 9:55 p.m.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — James Franklin doesn’t think the Southeastern Conference has seen the best of either himself or Missouri.
The Tigers endured the program’s first losing season since 2004 in their SEC debut with the dual-threat quarterback missing three games and part of three more because of injuries. While Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M thrived in Year 1, Franklin & Co. are eager to get another shot at demonstrating they can win in the league.
“We’re really trying to get that accomplished this year is what we really can do, and go out and win a bunch of games,” Franklin said Tuesday at SEC media days.
He had been a dynamic player his sophomore season and Missouri had won three of the last five Big North titles before falling to 5-7 and getting routed by SEC powers Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and fellow Big 12 defector Texas A&M in 2012.
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel enters his 13th season in Columbia hoping for better luck and better results.
“We lost five of our top-10 offensive linemen and our starting quarterback,” Pinkel said. “We still had a chance to overcome it. I’m paid to overcome anything that happens to us. You’ve got to prove yourself. We’re hungry. I think we’re very, very hungry.”
So is Franklin, who is facing competition from redshirt freshman Maty Mauk and last season’s fill-in Corbin Berkstresser going into preseason camp.
He totaled 3,746 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns passing and running two years ago, and dealt with a shoulder injury last year.
Franklin remains atop the depth chart and said he changed his mind-set after meeting with teammates early in the summer to stop thinking of himself as just another guy fighting for the job.
“They don’t want that from their quarterback,” he said. “They don’t want their quarterback two weeks before two-a-days start, ‘Oh, I hope I get the job. It’s up for grabs.’ They want their quarterback to be, ‘No, it is mine. I’m the starting quarterback.’ I’m trying to take that approach.
“I’m trying to take that mind-set but realize that if I don’t perform well, then I’m not going to be a starter.”
Pinkel, meanwhile, said bringing Franklin as one of three players appearing at media days for Missouri doesn’t mean he’s the man under Josh Henson, who was promoted to offensive coordinator during the offseason.
“He’s just a great representative of our program,” Pinkel said, “and that’s how I choose to bring players here.”
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