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James Franklin is a senior and in 2013, he has played like one. The 6-foot-2, 230 pounder has completed 68 percent of his passes and has thrown 13 touchdowns to only three interceptions. Franklin is not your typical dual threat quarterback. He runs with a great deal of power and is very tough to stop in short yardage situations. He does a great job of reading his blocks, and gets downhill quickly. As a scrambler, he has the ability to extend the play with his athleticism and is tough to bring down in space. As a passer Franklin has improved in 2013. He is throwing the ball down field with more accuracy. He is very accurate on in cuts and slants, but does struggle at times throwing the ball to the outside. He works well with his tall, athletic wide receivers, but he locks on to his first read quite a bit.
In the running game, the Tigers have what essentially amounts to a four-headed monster. Franklin serves as the power back for the offense while Henry Josey, Russell Hansbrough, and Marcus Murphy attack with more speed and elusiveness. All three of those running backs are in the 5-foot-9, 190-pound range, and all have the ability to hit the big play. Josey and Murphy are the most experienced of the two. Josey is the only running back with a reception on the year, but all three have at least three rushing touchdowns on the season. Josey, Hansbrough, and Murphy have combined for 13 scores on the season, and all three thrive when they are allowed to get outside the tackles. All three are capable runners on the interior, but it appears that all three are best on the edge.
This is a big and talented group for the Tigers. Former No. 1 overall prospect Dorial Green-Beckham, at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds leads the team in receptions and yards with 23 catches for 364 yards. He has taken a big step forward in his second season in Columbia and is a consistent every-down threat for Mizzou. L'Damian Washington is also coming on strong for the Tigers. The 6-foot-4, 205 pound receiver had three catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns against Vanderbilt last season, and had a strong showing against Georgia last season with two catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Washington is one of Mizzou's most explosive weapons and can make the big play whether he is covered or not. Marcus Lucas is another big receiver who serves as Frankln's primary target on possession routes. Fellow possession receivers Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser join him as underneath weapons for the Tigers. Lucas and Sasser are also dynamic blockers on the edge. The tight ends, Eric Waters and Sean Culkin, haven't been too active thus far as they have combined for 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown this season. Waters, however, did have three catches for 39 yards and a score last week versus Vanderbilt.
This is a group that is much healthier than in 2012. Justin Britt and Mitch Morse are a couple of long, athletic tackles that are solid in pass protection. Both do an excellent job of blocking in space in the screen game, but can get pushed around some in the run game. The guards, Max Copeland and Connor McGovern, are a couple of great athletes in their own right. Copeland is excellent at working up to the second level of the defense while McGovern is strong at the point of attack. Both are sound in blocking their assignments and do a good job of cutting off penetration when the play is going away from them. McGovern has had some struggles in pass protection when put in a one-on-one situation while Copeland has had some difficulties blocking defensive tackles when put in that same situation. Evan Boehm is one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the SEC. Boehm is bigger than most centers at 315 pounds, but he does an excellent job of anchoring at the point of attack and not giving up penetration. He does a good job of working up to the second level. Like most centers, he struggles to block guys one-on-one inside, but he does a great job of posting on a defender and allowing the guard to work up to the next level to pick up another block.
• 1st Down - The Tigers are fairly balanced on first down but they go to the pass slightly more than the run.
• 2nd down and long (7 or more yards) - This is a heavy passing situation the Tigers at 71 percent.
• 2nd down and medium (4 to 6 yards) - This, too, is a down and distance where the Tigers tend to go to the air with 64 percent pass.
• Second down and short (fewer than 4 yards) - This is one of two run-heavy downs for the Tigers at 59% run.
• Third down and long - Third and long is a down and distance where Mizzou has gone to the air 84 percent of the time.
• Third down and medium - This is another situation where the Tigers like to go the air (70 percent).
• Third down and short - Third and short is the only other run heavy down for the Tigers as they go to the rush 81 percent of the time.
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