Mizzou Links, 11-19-13: Franklin comes alive, and L'Damian can't wear a shoe

Bill Carter

James Franklin should be 100% James Franklin on Saturday, L'Damian Washington is struggling with a toe injury, Jordan Clarkson is the SEC basketball player of the week, and Mizzou Volleyball is closing in.

1. Four days to Ole Miss

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Football Media Day Quotes - Nov. 18

Head Coach, Gary Pinkel

Opening Statement...

"After a bye week, we are getting going again. We had practice last night, and it really went well. The players had a few days off that were very refreshing for them both mentally and physically. Those are a couple of goals that we wanted to accomplish last week. Now we are preparing to play a very good Ole Miss team. We look forward to the challenge and I think our football team is obviously excited to get back competing and get back to the grind. Back to preparing and doing the right thing each day." [...]

On any added pressure for the team, knowing they must win-out to claim the SEC Eastern division...

"That is clutter. Teams that prepare right don't let that affect them. They focus on what they can control, and that is playing well. That is when your mental toughness kicks in, and you do not let outside things change your focus. I will be really disappointed if we put all those kind of pressures on ourselves. That does not help you play well." [...]

On Evan Boehm moving to center before this season, and his performance at the new position...

"I think Evan is playing really well. The offensive line is playing well as a whole. They have stayed healthy, worked well together and have made great calls together. Evan came to me right before spring football this year. He talked to me, Coach Walker, Coach Henson, and our offensive line coaches. He told me coach, I really want to play center. I really like playing center. He talked about being the quarterback of the offensive line. He has a great background, and he is so bright. When you have a player that his dad is a coach, a lot of times they are a little quicker in thinking and show the ability to process the game of football. After I talked to him, I went and talked to the other coaches and that is when we decided we were going to keep him at center. He is a very big, strong and smart individual. As his fundamentals get better he should continue to accelerate his play. We have been very pleased without question. He has been really good there."

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Media Day Notes: The Franklin Hour Approacheth

"He looks really good. He looks like just when he left off," Coach Gary Pinkel said. "He's excited about getting back. The team's excited about having him back. Obviously, I want him to do very well. He's had some adversity, battled through it before, and he's battled through it again."

Pinkel said Franklin is "completely cleared" against the Rebels, and Pinkel, offensive coordinator Josh Henson and Franklin himself said they're not worried about the quarterback taking hits once he returns to action.

As for how quickly he'll be able to transition back into playing mode after sitting out the past four games...

"I don't think he'll struggle," Henson said. "We're not going to anticipate that. If that's something we have to deal with, we'll deal with it. But I think James is going to play well. The good news is you're going to have two quarterbacks that are going to be able to play well."

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Gary Pinkel Speaks: Week 11
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel on Franklin: "He's 100 percent cleared"
Post-Dispatch: Tigers welcome Franklin back with open arms
KC Star: Franklin back as starting QB for Missouri
The Missourian: Missouri football's James Franklin: "My legacy's already been determined."
PowerMizzou: Back again
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Monday Media, 11/18
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1: Gary Pinkel Previews Ole Miss

And 11 days to A&M
KC Star: MU-Texas A&M will kickoff at 6:45 p.m. Nov. 30
Post-Dispatch: Tigers, Aggies clash under the lights
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Texas A&M-Missouri gets 6:45 p.m. kickoff on ESPN

2. Bowl watch

PowerMizzou: Bowl Breakdown
The Trib: Hard to forecast Tigers' bowl future
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Going deep with ESPN's Brad Edwards on Missouri's BCS picture

3. A well-timed off-week, I guess

Post-Dispatch: Hobbled MU wideouts expected back

Back on Nov. 9, Missouri’s two starting outside receivers hobbled off the field at Kentucky and into a conveniently timed bye week. Dorial Green-Beckham sprained his ankle in the victory, while L’Damian Washington suffered a toe injury.

Both are listed as starters for No. 8 Mizzou’s game Saturday at No. 24 Ole Miss, though Washington had yet to practice as of Monday. Washington, who leads the Tigers (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) with 680 receiving yards, was wearing a boot on his left foot until Sunday and was having trouble walking in anything but socks Monday.

"This is my first day trying to wear a shoe, but you see how that went," he said Monday, holding his left sneaker in his hand. "I’ll be fine. I’ll be good."

Uh, the game's in four days, L'Damian. I wish you hadn't told me about the "can't wear shoes" thing...

4. Closing in on Mizzou's first SEC title...

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Moves to No. 4 in the AVCA Top-25
MUtigers.com: Henning Named SEC Player of the Week
KC Star: Undefeated MU ranked No. 4 in volleyball coaches’ poll
Fox Sports MW: Undefeated Mizzou volleyball team has SEC title within reach
The Missourian: Missouri volleyball moves up in rankings

5. Hopefully the first of many

MUtigers.com: Mizzou's Jordan Clarkson Named SEC Player of the Week
The Trib (Courtside View): Clarkson named SEC Player of the Week

6. WHATNOT

Football Recruiting
PowerMizzou: Following the Future: 11/18

Wrestling
MUtigers.com: Freshman Lavallee Headlines Weekend's Top Finishers

Women's Basketball
MUtigers.com: Women's Basketball Offers Stocking Stuffer Ticket Package

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