The Missouri Tigers (6-0, 2-0) have taken control of the SEC East following a huge 41-26 win at Georgia (4-2, 3-1). One year after finishing 5-7 and winning only two league games, the Tigers already have matched their conference win total from a year ago and notched their first win against a big-time SEC program since joining the league. It was Missouri’s first road win against a top-10 opponent since Oct. 3, 1981 at Mississippi State.
The question moving forward is: how serious is James Franklin’s injury?
Franklin sustained the injury after being hit from behind by Georgia’s Jordan Jenkins with less than 11 minutes to play. Maty Mauk, a redshirt freshman, came on to replace Franklin with Missouri clinging to a 28-26 lead. Franklin went 18-of-27 for 170 yards and a touchdown, adding 12 yards and another touchdown on the ground before leaving the game today.
Missouri was a still able to pull off the upset on the road with Franklin on the bench, but the Tigers’ next two games are against the SEC East’s other two ranked teams – No. 17 Florida and No. 14 South Carolina.
Both games are at home, but the Tigers’ odds of winning each and staying in control of the division race are certainly better with Franklin healthy and able to play. Last season, Missouri struggled mightily when he missed significant time with a host of injuries.
Even without Franklin, Missouri’s defense appears strong enough this year to keep the Tigers in those games. After picking off Georgia’s Aaron Murray two times, Missouri now has 13 interceptions, most in the nation. The Tigers forced four Bulldogs turnovers, helping them pull of a monumental win in Samford Stadium.
The loss all but eliminates Georgia from the SEC title race, and certainly kills their national title hopes.