Mizzou seeks to avenge OT loss vs. ASU

Missouri junior quarterback James Franklin searches for an open receiver during the Tigers’ away game against ASU last year. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

Last season, Missouri was a missed 48-yard field goal away from beating ASU in Tempe.

After a close loss in overtime, the Tigers (1-1) welcome ASU (2-0) to Columbia hoping to return the favor.

Junior quarterback James Franklin said it is just another game that the Tigers want to win.

“I guess some people think of it as revenge,” Franklin said. “But we kind of take it as another game, definitely want to come back strong.”

Missouri wants to rebound after their loss to ASU last year. They also want to bounce back after a tough SEC-opening loss to Georgia, 41-20.

Late in the third quarter the Tigers had a three-point lead over the Bulldogs. Then UGA scored 14 unanswered points.

ASU coach Todd Graham said that the score does not truly represent how the game went. He said that Missouri played them well, but turnovers cost them the game.

Franklin said the pressure from the UGA defense early in the game affected how he played the rest of the game.

“I would start to feel pressure that wasn’t even there,” Franklin said. “I was trying to anticipate the throw so it was way off and incomplete.”

Franklin said in the game against ASU, he hopes to improve on staying confident in the pocket.

After losing their new conference debut, the Tigers now turn their attention to the Sun Devils.

Coach Gary Pinkel said upcoming ASU offers a formidable challenge. Pinkel said the Sun Devils have a strong sense of confidence with their new coach.

“If you get a couple wins under your belt, there’s a whole new confidence level that goes with that too,” Pinkel said. “They’re playing exceptionally well…we’re expecting a very good football team to come in here.”

The Missouri offense is looking to Franklin to have another big game against ASU. Last season, he had two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown to force the game into overtime.

This season Franklin has picked up right where he left off. He is averaging 200 yards passing and 32 yards rushing for the season.

Defensively, the Tigers are snagged with injuries this week.

Redshirt senior linebacker Zavier Gooden leads the team with 14 tackles, but he will not be able to play this week.

Redshirt junior lineback Donovan Bonner said the defense has to adjust.

“I men just got be ready at all times,” Bonner said. “(Gooden’s) obviously our weak side linebacker and I’m the middle, but I know the position more than the other guys so I have to go in.”

Missouri also suffered a key injury up front offensively. Redshirt senior offensive lineman and captain Elvis Fisher is out indefinitely for the Tigers.

Franklin said the line responded well after the injury and trusts them going forward.

“I didn’t really notice a huge difference,” Franklin said. “They were blocking really well obviously there were some miscommunications. I thought they did a great job and they gave me time to make some throws.”

 

Reach the reporter at ehubbard@asu.edu