1. Four days to Florida
On the wide receivers' improvement in the blocking game...
"We probably did not get the ball outside much last year, so we did not have a lot to compare it too. We have very solid and big receivers. People point that out to me, like our opponents' media for example. They take a lot of pride, and I think they understand the importance of it. It is difficult with the amount of space out there. It doesn't work all the time. If you get the right blocks at the right time you can spring the ball forward. Some of our guys can turn a 6-yard gain into a 25-yard gain. Coach Washington is doing a real good job with that."
On wide receiver L'Damian Washington's play-making abilities...
"He is such a talented guy, and is such a verbal leader on this team. He leads by example. The players have so much respect for him. His background and all that he has been through means a lot. He possesses great maturity, and strength as a leader. He is such a positive person, and such a determined individual. We are getting good leadership from a lot of people on this team. The senior class as a whole stands out, but certainly L'Damian and will always stand out. He is going to be so successful just because of who he is, and the players are starting to recognize that."
On working against a strong Florida defense...
"They are really good. I expected not necessarily a big drop off from last year, but maybe a little drop off because the players they lost. They have a system in place, and a great defensive scheme. They are very well coached, and very disciplined. He (Florida Head Coach, Will Muschamp) does a great job with that program."
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Gary Pinkel Speaks: Week 7
The Trib (Beyond the Box Score): The Scouting Report: Florida
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Monday Media, 10/14
We Are Mizzou: PHOTOS: Mizzou Media Days
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1: Pinkel Talks Florida
And 11 days to Homecoming
Post-Dispatch: Evening kickoff for homecoming game
2. One out, one in (for 3-5 weeks)
Assistant athletic trainer Casey Hairston asked Franklin if he’d seen the reports on Twitter.
"I was like, ‘No, sir. Not yet,’" Franklin said Monday. "My phone died. He said, ‘Well, don’t worry about it.’"
The two anonymously sourced reports said Franklin would miss at least six weeks (CBSSports.com) or the rest of the regular season (ESPN).
Not so, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Monday. Franklin’s prognosis is more promising: He’s expected to miss three to five weeks with what Pinkel described Monday as a sprained throwing shoulder.
At three speaking engagements Monday — at the Tiger Quarterback Club luncheon, his weekly news conference and during his radio show — Pinkel insisted that Saturday night’s news was inaccurate. He first saw ESPN’s report while watching TV at his home in Columbia.
"Where’d they come from?" he asked at his news conference. "Anybody know?"
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Pinkel: Franklin expected to be out 3-5 weeks with shoulder injury
The Missourian: Missouri's James Franklin out 3 to 5 weeks with shoulder sprain
KC Star: Mizzou’s Pinkel says Franklin sprained shoulder, will miss three to five weeks
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel: Franklin out 3 to 5 weeks
The Maneater: James Franklin stays positive in wake of injury
In his 20-plus years of coaching, Hill has seen any number of reactions in such instances.
"I’ve been on the sideline when guys have been in panic situations, when they get cotton-mouthed and wide-eyed and ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing?’" Hill said.
And Mauk couldn’t help but feel the flickering flutter of a butterfly. He had thrown just three collegiate passes, all against Murray State, and had every reason to wonder how to cope with the moment.
All that started to evaporate when the offensive line gathered around him, each man putting a hand on him and reassuring him.
Still, there was the matter of the next step: playing.
Franklin said he's been cautious doling out advice to Mauk about what to expect when he runs up against Florida's defense on Saturday.
"You definitely don’t want to overdo it. It’s important and everything, but I don’t want to overhype him or make it feel like a bigger deal than it is," Franklin said. "He’s playing against Florida, but he did a lot of good things in high school. Just keep that mentality, and I’ll give him some advice about the things I experienced and things that I think work at this level. Hopefully I’ll be able to help him out."
Pinkel, offensive coordinator Josh Henson and quarterbacks coach Andy Hill all said the Tigers won't change their offense now that Mauk is behind center.
And he has the full backing of the team.
"I think our offensive players will 100 percent support Maty Mauk," Pinkel said. "How about them playing at a real high level? Maybe that's where we should start."
The Mizzou Athletics Training Complex looked a happy place Monday, all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and bulldog pelts. Then again, a 6-0 record and the program's first victory over a Top 10 team on the road in 32 years -- a 41-26 trashing of Georgia between the hedges -- tends to do that.
You ready for a dance with the best defense the Southeastern Conference has to offer, Maty?
"Yes sir," the Tigers' redshirt freshman quarterback replied. Then, without batting so much as an eyelid, he said this:
"We've got one of the best offenses, so we're going to come right at them."
And, well, so much for butterflies.
"Maty is Maty," center Evan Boehmn said, chuckling. "(It's) Maty being Maty. He loves to have fun, he jokes around with everybody, he does this and that. And usually, he's not a quiet, shy kid.
3. Saturday was awesome
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Kentrell Brothers named SEC Defensive Player of the Week
MUtigers.com: Brothers Earns SEC Defensive Player of the Week
KC Star: Mizzou’s Brothers is SEC defensive player of the week
Post-Dispatch: Brothers catches on to starter's role
People are noticing
The Trib: Tigers are dominating the conversation
4. And how are the future Tigers doing?
5. At least six voters still aren't ranking Mizzou Volleyball
MUtigers.com: Tigers Continue Climb in AVCA Poll, Rank 18th Nationally
MUtigers.com: Carly Kan Named SEC Freshman of the Week
The Trib (Beyond the Box Score): A newsy non-rev Monday: volleyball and women's hoops
Wanna be Truman?
MUtigers.com: 2014 Truman the Tiger Tryout Information
With all the hubbub, I completely missed Music Monday, and I know you guys are terribly disappointed by that. But here's a quick Music Tuesday link.
No. 1 is really, really predictable, but ... I'm not sure I could think of another song that is better. He went full-on sap (as he is wont to do), and it worked.