Quarterback James Franklin, right, enjoys a laugh with offensive lineman Max Copeland before the start of Thursday’s practice.
The offense fumbled the first play of scrimmage Thursday and things didn’t get much better from there. The defense to recorded an 18-4 victory over the offense, the second in two scrimmages.
A botched exchange between quarterback James Franklin and center Mitch Morse on the first play was recovered by the defense, giving them a quick 2-0 lead in the scrimmage. The offense turned the ball over four times, including one by Tyler Davis, who carried the ball 51 yards for a touchdown.
The Missouri offense is peppered with 10 injured players. The defense has five key players out with injuries.
Despite the rough start, Franklin threw for 177 yards, going 16 of 25, including one touchdown. Coach Gary Pinkel wants to see more consistency and said Franklin’s play improved near the end of the scrimmage.
“It was a little bit like Kansas State last year, or Kansas last year, where he wasn’t playing very well and all of the sudden he looks like he’s going to be first team All-SEC,” Pinkel said. “That’s disappointing. We’ll talk to James about that.
Pinkel said the defense dominated, getting interceptions from Tyler Davis, Ian Simon and Clarence Green. The defense was without linebacker Will Ebner (neck), cornerback Kip Edwards (knee) and tackle Matt Hoch (hamstring).
“We’ll be ready to go, it’ll just be nice to get everyone back,” Pinkel said. “I think the most important thing is the continuity of playing together as a unit.”
Wide receivers T.J. Moe (hamstring) and L’Damian Washington (shoulder) and offensive tackle Justin Britt (foot) missed Thursday’s action.
This story includes Staff and Associated Press reports.