(Missouri Football App) -- Well, that went bad in a hurry. But it's hard to be upset. Mizzou played a top-10 team to a draw for nearly three and a half quarters. The defense looked more than capable of handling Georgia, and would have been good enough to win if the offense could have held on to the ball.
I know I called vehemently for the upset, but I can't be too angry at the outcome. It's humiliating to be beaten by one defensive player, but our offensive line was wounded and shifted around when the Tigers needed stability most.
The biggest concern from the game was James Franklin. Admittedly, he looked unfazed by the bright lights and SEC pressure. But I couldn't shake the feeling that he was hiding a mild case of panic. His passes were high, he threw only after receivers made their cuts, and generally seemed to be operating with too much nervous energy.
As a leader, Franklin needed to find a way to work around the injuries. I know it's an unfair generality, but much has been made of Franklin's captaincy and drive this year. This season is billed as his season, his chance to make Missouri his team much like Chase did in '07.
In the second half, Jarvis Jones took his play to another level. He feasted on our disrupted line, and gave Franklin fits. If this is the year of James Franklin, he needs to elevate himself to match that effort. Sure, one man isn't going to beat an entire defense by himself. But it wasn't the entire defense that beat Missouri, it was Jones.
If you're going to be the star, you don't let their star walk all over you. Missouri wasn't out of this game until Jones put them out of it. He willed Georgia to victory. Where was our leader while he was tearing us apart?
This isn't meant to be a bashing. Franklin is a capable quarterback who will lead us in a solid entry into the SEC. But he seems to keep emotions at bay. While that's a positive when the crowd is wild and it's third and long, it's also can be a negative.
Sure, living with your emotions on your sleeve is dangerous for a quarterback, but a little bit of passion isn't so bad. I want to see Franklin show some fire. When Jones made his charge in the fourth, I wanted Franklin to say "Not in my house. Not today." Instead, his focus was staying calm and collected. That's not the wrong thing to do, but it isn't what is best for the moment.
Mizzou needed him to stand tall and stare Jones back into his place. When there was chaos and nervous energy all around him, Franklin needed not only to be calm, but prideful. He needed to have swagger. I'd rather lose that game because Franklin was too proud to lay down than lose because we were trying to "not worry." I respect wanting to be a calming presence, but let Pinkel do that. You be the fire that drives this engine.
In the end, Missouri isn't hurt by the loss. They played a great team even until the final minutes. Their season will continue on, and they still have a chance to finish strong in the East. But until Franklin finds his fangs and steps forward in those moments instead of just riding them out, the Tigers aren't going to win SEC contests like Saturday's.