Missouri quarterback James Franklin drops back for a pass during the first half. (Photo by Stuart Palley)
COLUMBIA – Missouri suffered another difficult loss to an SEC foe on Saturday, falling to Florida 14-7. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers were driving down the field. However, that final drive ended when quarterback James Franklin threw his fourth interception of the game. Franklin struggled with his accuracy all game, and his costly turnovers eliminated any chances the Tigers had at upsetting the Gators.
Despite the loss, Missouri's defense played outstanding holding the No. 8 ranked team in the nation to just 14 points. Without strong play by the defense for the entire game, the Tigers would have been blown out against the Gators. Sheldon Richardson added another great game to his already impressive resume. Missouri also benefited from its special teams play by blocking a field goal in the first half.
What others said
Franklin's quarterback play dominated the talking points after Saturday's loss. Bill Connelly wrote, "despite reaching Florida territory on seven different possessions, woeful quarterback play led to Mizzou's demise in a 14-7 loss to No. 8 Florida" for Missouri blog RockMNation. He praised the defense as well as the offensive line but also preached that it is not time to give up on James Franklin.
Terez A. Paylor wrote about the game for the Kansas City Star. He did not want Franklin's turnovers and overthrows to overshadow that the Missouri offense moved the ball down the field as well as it had since Franklin's injury earlier in the season. However, he also stated there is no denying that most of the blame will fall on Franklin's shoulders.
High school football
The Class 6 District 3 semifinal game was a rematch of the Sept. 21 Providence Bowl between Hickman and Rock Bridge. And like the earlier matchup, Hickman ended the game as victors. The game was a defensive battle, ending in a 10-7 score that needed extra time to determine the winner. Hickman kicked a field goal in overtime and then ended the game with an interception on Rick Bridge's next drive.
Hickman will face Francis Howell in the district finals next Friday. The game will be a rematch of last year's sectional tournament game when Francis Howell knocked Hickman out of the tournament and ended their season.
Tigers forward Alex Oriakhi could not be happier about his decision to transfer to Missouri after deciding to leave UConn in April. “It’s honestly a joy to come in here and work every day,” Oriakhi said. He is one of six transfers on Missouri's roster this year, and he was without question the most sought after. He was also being recruited by last year's national champions Kentucky, as well as Duke and North Carolina.