Franklin comes alive, leads Missouri over Tennessee in OT thriller

Franklin comes alive, leads Missouri over Tennessee in OT thriller

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Franklin comes alive, leads Missouri over Tennessee in OT thriller

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by JJ Bailey / Missouri Football App

KMOV.com

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 12 at 10:56 AM

(Missouri Football App) -- Well clearly Pinkel is reading the Missouri Football App to James Franklin during halftime, because the second half was 180 degrees from the floundering first. 

The Tigers started stretching the field, scripting creative passing plays and mixing in the run effectively. Franklin, for his part, began to execute with a regularity not seen all season. He made throws with accuracy and arm strength, even going downfield to Sasser twice to set up scores. 

Which James Franklin is the real James Franklin? Share your thoughts.

As the game drew closer to its conclusion, Franklin seemed to come alive. On what appeared to be a carbon copy of last weeks's finale, the Tigers had fourth and long inside the Tennessee 20, and Franklin took a shot at the end zone. This time, he tossed a perfect pass to the wide-open Green-Beckham and tied the game with less than a minute left. 

From that play on, James Franklin was a different player altogether. He threw with precision, he extended plays with his legs, and he led the offense with ease, slicing apart the volunteer pass defense. For the first time since Georgia, I found myself believing in James Franklin. It wasn't just that the plays were working, it was that he was making it look routine- as though success was expected, not just a happy surprise. Franklin finally showed why Pinkel has stuck with him all these weeks. 

As an added bonus, with the 51-48 victory, Missouri now stands alone as the FBS team with the most overtime wins. The Tigers' 11 wins leads all programs in post-regulation action, and their forced fumble in the first half made it an even 20 on the year, another FBS best.

For all the criticism leveled at Franklin this week - readily admitting I'm in that camp- today he recaptured a few believers. 

What fans just witnessed in the fourth quarter and overtime was just how good this Tiger offense could have been all season. Even if it ends up only being one game, it has to feel nice to show the country what he- and his team- can do. 

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