The Missouri Tigers rolled into Athens, Georgia on Saturday morning as an eight-point underdog to the SEC power Georgia Bulldogs. By the time the Tigers left Sanford Stadium, Missouri was 2-0 in league play, and had moved up 11 spots in the Associated Press college football poll.
James Franklin completed 18-of-27 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown for Missouri (6-0, 2-0 SEC) before injuring his shoulder early in the fourth quarter. The injury, a grade 2 separated shoulder, is expected to keep Franklin out of action anywhere from the next 3 to 5 weeks, according to information provided to ESPN on Monday morning by Head Coach Gary Pinkel.
Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk replaced Franklin and went 3-for-3 passing for 23 yards for Missouri, off to its best start since going 7-0 to begin the 2010 season. L'Damian Washington caught seven passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. For Georgia, senior quarterback Aaron Murray was 25-of-45 passing for 290 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bulldogs, one of the pre-season favorites to win the SEC's Eastern Division, are now 4-2 overall, and drop to 3-1 in conference play. The loss was the first for UGA, "Between the Hedges" since South Carolina won in Athens on September 10, 2011.
Missouri has a chance, if they can protect their home turf, to compete for the SEC East title. Florida comes to Columbia this Saturday, with an 11:21 AM kickoff on SEC-TV (Channel 62 in Kansas City). South Carolina will visit Memorial Stadium for MU's homecoming game at 6 PM on October 26th, while the Tennessee Volunteers are at Mizzou to play the Tigers on November 2nd.