Missouri Tigers Hope to Improve Offense in 2013
The Missouri Tigers had a tough time during their first season in the Southeastern Conference in 2012. Coach Gary Pinkel and his team battled numerous injuries, as well as the rugged SEC schedule, en route to a 5-7 campaign.
Pinkel and the Tigers didn’t think that the transition to the new league would be as difficult as it was, especially with James Franklin returning at quarterback. Franklin had been among the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 Conference during his first two years in Columbia. However, that success did not translate to the SEC.
In fact, Missouri ranked 96th in the country in total offense in 2012, averaging just 356 yards per game. In fairness, the Tigers were ravaged by injuries last season. Franklin missed time with leg issues. Running back Henry Josey missed the entire season after an injury late in the 2011 season, and the offensive line was continually beaten up through the season.
Despite the injuries, Pinkel felt that a change was needed to spark the offense before the 2013 season. David Yost stepped down as offensive coordinator at the end of the 2012 season, and he was replaced by last season’s co-offensive coordinator Josh Henson. The former offensive lineman for the Oklahoma State Cowboys will hope to boost Missouri’s offensive production during the spring and the upcoming season.
One of Henson’s first decisions will be at the quarterback position. Franklin returns for his senior season, as does last year’s backup, Corbin Berkstresser, who saw time last year in Franklin’s absence. Also in the mix is Maty Mauk, a former Parade All-American who was redshirted last season.
Josey will also be back this season, and he will likely carry the load in the backfield, especially with Kendial Lawrence now graduated. Another big weapon for the Tigers will be wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the former No. 1 recruit in the country.
Henson and his offensive staff need to improve the Tigers’ fortunes on offense if they hope to compete in the SEC in 2013.