COLUMBIA — James Franklin says he can get his thinking done just about anywhere.
After his four-turnover performance Saturday against Oklahoma State, Franklin said he has had a lot of thinking to do.
- Kicker Grant Ressel injured his hip flexor during Sunday's practice and is listed as questionable. Punter Trey Barrow would take over if Ressel is unable to go Saturday against Texas A&M.
- Terrell Resonno will return from a sprained knee Saturday. He was listed atop the depth chart at defensive tackle, and Sheldon Richardson was moved back to No. 2.
- Backup defensive end Brayden Burnett will return from a hyperextended elbow.
- Reserve offensive lineman Anthony Gatti tore his ACL and meniscus in practice and will be out for the rest of the season.
- Cornerback Randy Ponder moved up to No. 2 at one of the cornerback positions, passing Robert Steeples.
"I'm a big thinker, and I was thinking about it a lot," Franklin said. "I was just really frustrated with my performance, but mostly, I just feel like — and I know the guys will tell me I didn't — but I feel like I let them down, and that's something I don't want to do because we've worked hard."
Franklin's frustrations are warranted. His turnovers Saturday, at least the first two, came at what seemed like the worst possible times for Missouri.
Missouri rallied to cut an 18-point Oklahoma State lead to seven by halftime, and the Tigers' defense stopped the Cowboys on the second half's opening possession. After two first downs, the Tigers looked to be on the move to tie the game, but Franklin's first pass of the possession was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted.
Three plays later, Oklahoma State's lead was back to 14. That was as close as Missouri would get for the rest of the day.
Later in the third quarter, with Missouri still trailing by 14, Franklin fumbled on second-and-goal from the Oklahoma State 4-yard line.
The interception was one of two tipped passes that became turnovers for Franklin on Saturday, a fact that surprised Tigers coach Gary Pinkel.
"He's had four balls tipped in 218 throws, which is probably as normal as any quarterback we've ever had," Pinkel said.
Pinkel was quick to defend Franklin and tried to deflect the responsibility away from his quarterback as much as possible during his Monday press conference.
"He has a high release, one time he threw one ball too low, that's how it got tipped, it had nothing to do with decision making. The other one, the lineman didn't get his hands down. It's that lineman's responsibility to get (the defender's) hands down in the quick passing game," Pinkel said. "And we missed a block at the point of attack on the goal line."
Franklin, though, shoulders the responsibility himself. He discussed footwork as a problem for him, and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach David Yost agreed.
"When he misses throws, that's really what it comes down to, because he's very accurate," Yost said. "When he's balanced and aligned, everything's accurate."
Regardless, it's been hard for Franklin to hide his disappointment. In a post on his Facebook page Franklin said, "Playing bad feels awful, disappointing people hurts, and letting people down feels the worst."
The responses to that post have been positive, Franklin said.
"For the most part everyone was just saying, 'We're behind you all the way, don't worry about it, stop being so hard on yourself,' so that's always encouraging to see," Franklin said. "It's just something I want to let everyone know — I'm thinking about it."
If you believe him, he's always thinking about it, even in the middle of interviews.
"It's anywhere, really. It could just be right now, in between questions," Franklin said. "It could be when I'm driving home, I could think about it any time."
For Missouri to see better results this week in College Station, Texas, against No. 16 Texas A&M, those thoughts will have to translate into results.