The Missouri Tigers are a completely different team with a healthy James Franklin at quarterback running the offense. Franklin threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns, adding 44 yards on the ground before coming out early in the third quarter, helping Missouri take command after early struggles and whip Murray State 58-14.
The Tigers rolled up nearly 700 yards of offense and 33 first downs, while holding the Racers to less than 300 yards and only 16 first downs.
Franklin was helped out by two 100-yard rushers in the lopsided affair. Henry Josey had 113 yards on 13 carries with a 68-yard score in his first game back from a left knee injury that required two surgeries and sidelined him all last season. Russell Hansbrough had 104 yards on eight attempts with a pair of scores for Missouri.
The one name that wasn’t called much was wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the former No. 1 high school recruit. Despite only having four receptions, Green-Beckham tallied 83 yards receiving. After a largely disappointing freshman year, folks in Columbia are hoping he takes huge steps forward this season.
It appears the Tigers’ second season in the Southeastern Conference may go much better than the first, but just how much better remains to be seen. A blowout win over Murray State is far from the standard by which SEC programs are measured. One thing is certain: Missouri looks much more formidable when its best player is in the lineup and healthy enough to play at his full potential.
What to look for in Week 2: Upset alert. The Tigers welcome Toledo in Week 2, and the Rockets are not a team to be overlooked, despite their 24-6 loss to Florida last week.