Gary Pinkel is calm, Brad McNulty is coming along, and Corbin Berkstresser is NOT GOING TO GET HURT ON SATURDAY.
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TOO CALM, IF YOU ASK ME
The Missourian: Pinkel staying calm despite Missouri's struggles
Patience is not exactly expected from a football coach with a struggling team. And if there was ever a time for Pinkel to show his frustration, it would have been after Missouri squandered a chance at its first SEC win against Vanderbilt.
That was not the case.
In the postgame news conference, Pinkel didn't seem hardened at all. He came out from the locker room without a look of frustration even when he announced that Franklin would be out for a few weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He didn't raise his voice once.
Pinkel closed the tranquil news conference by taking the blame for the loss.
"I'm responsible for everything that happens here. And I've got to coach better."
His demeanor was surprising. Monday, Pinkel was friendly again, even joking with reporters at one point that he was "half-hippie" in college.
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Playing with quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, McNulty will be paired with a common practice partner because both have spent most of the season No. 2 at their positions.
"I've always been with Corbin on the second string so we know each other relatively well," McNulty said. "He knows when I snap the ball. He knows my stance. So, I think he's pretty comfortable back there."
Alabama is sure to try to make McNulty uncomfortable.
Against Georgia, he faced the Bulldogs' 358-pound nose tackle, John Jenkins. This time around he'll see a lot of Alabama tackle Jesse Williams, who reportedly has bench-pressed 600 pounds.
McNulty's response: "There are a lot of strong guys out there."
Walker said he believes that McNulty is more advanced than former Tigers Austin Wuebbels and Jayson Palmgren at the same age. However, Walker said McNulty does lack needed strength at this point.
Don't Get Hurt, Corbin
The Trib: With Franklin out, Pinkel plans for emergencies
"One of my friends called me and asked if we were going to burn Maty Mauk's redshirt," Pinkel said. "I said, 'If he helps our team win, that's not burning it.' … Now, if he plays two plays and you don't play him the rest of the year, that's burning it. We've just got to look at all the possibilities."
Depending on the timing of an injury — or if Berkstresser's helmet comes off and he's forced to sit out a play — MU could also snap the ball to receiver T.J. Moe or tailback Kendial Lawrence, offensive coordinator David Yost told the Tiger Quarterback Club during its luncheon yesterday. Pinkel said he's gotten "a zillion texts" from friends asking about that scenario.
"We'll have an answer for that," he said.
The answer for Franklin's knee injury is a week in a brace that will keep his leg straight. He suffered the injury when Vanderbilt safety Eric Samuels slammed his helmet into his leg on MU's second possession Saturday. At the end of the series, Franklin told trainer Rex Sharp he thought he hyperextended his knee, and after a quick examination, Sharp knew it was more serious. On a scale of 1 to 3 — 1 being mild, 2 moderate and 3 severe — Franklin's sprain is between a 1 and 2, Sharp said. It will not require surgery.
After a week, he'll come out of the brace and begin further treatment, Sharp said. The Tigers have a bye week after Saturday's visit from Alabama (5-0, 2-0) and Sharp said Franklin should definitely be back for the next game, the Oct. 27 homecoming game against Kentucky.
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