The Missouri Tigers eked out a 24-20 non-conference win over Arizona State on Saturday night, and they did it without starting quarterback James Franklin, who was still recovering from a shoulder injury. Franklin came out before the game and warmed up, with the Gary Pinkel's decision between his starter or backup Corbin Berkstresser coming down to the wire. In the end, Pinkel went with Berkstresser but he said Franklin is not dealing with structural damage, just that the pain was too much (via MUTigers.com):
"That was going to be a game-time decision. He has an irritation/inflammation in his shoulder. There are no structural problems at all -absolutely none. It was just too painful for him, and he didn't want to play. Between him and the medical staff, they make those decisions. I don't make those decisions. I told Corbin last night that he might have to play. I was hoping James could play, but he didn't feel like he could play. We'll find out next week on his health."
Berkstresser performed admirably in relief, hitting 21 of 41 attempts for 198 yards. While it wasn't the typical offensive output you would see with Franklin running the ship, he did just enough to hold off the Sun Devils and pick up a crucial win to rebound from last week's disappointment in the SEC opener.
The Tigers now hit the road for their first SEC game away from the friendly confines of Faurot Field. They'll face South Carolina in Week 4, and it's likely Franklin will be in better shape to give it a go.