With Saturday's game against Toledo staying close far longer than the Tiger fans thought, Mizzou quarterback James Franklin put the team on his back. Or his broad shoulders, to be more precise.
On one of his 17 rushes, Franklin raced up the sideline. As the defender closed on him, Franklin lowered his shoulder and knocked the Rocket on his rear. After the game, he was all smiles.
“I like to throw a shoulder every now and then,” Franklin said. “It's always a last minute decision, but it's pretty cool. … I think it helps out a lot, I mean obviously anytime there's a big gain, the team gets amped up.”
Franklin racked up 289 total yards in the game, 212 passing and 77 rushing. It pushes his career total to 6,408 yards, moving him past the stellar Corby Jones (6,230 yards from 1995-98) into sixth place in career total offense at Mizzou. Barring disaster, Franklin will supplant No. 5 Phil Bradley (6,458 yards from 1977-80) in Mizzou's next game.
Franklin wasn't alone in making big plays on Saturday. Mizzou's defensive secondary again stepped up, intercepting three passes for the second time this season. Safety Matt White, lineman Markus Golden and safety Ian Simon all recorded their career firsts in crucial situations.
White picked Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens off in the end zone, preventing a Rockets touchdown just before halftime. Golden made a beautiful play, driving through the line to deflect Owens' pass, grab it out of the air and then take it 70-yards for a touchdown. Simon sealed the game with his interception on Toledo's final possession.
With six picks this year, the Tigers are just one shy of last year's season total. The interceptions bring Mizzou's consecutive games streak with a turnover forced to 32, the longest active streak in the country.
Up next, Mizzou (2-0) travels to Big Ten country to play Indiana in Bloomington. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Central and will air on the Big Ten Network. Coach Gary Pinkel, third all time in wins with the Tigers with 92, will tie legendary coach Dan Devine (1958-70) with a win. The all-time leader is Don Faurot, who compiled 101 wins from 1935-42 and 1946-56.
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