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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Early impressions of MU's James Franklin

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

We're only about 10 minutes into Missouri's season, but James Franklin has his first touchdown of the year on a five-yard, third-down quarterback draw to put the Tigers up 7-0 against Miami (Ohio).

Franklin's legs have already gotten a nice workout with 44 yards on his first four carries. That's no surprise. Franklin's straight-line speed isn't elite, but he's very shifty for a quarterback and has a nice feel for space. He's used it on a couple of option keepers early on.

The big question, though, is Franklin's arm.

His mechanics are a bit unorthodox, which will present questions on its own, but he's completed four consecutive passes for 30 yards. His first pass was incomplete and ended the first drive, but he was hit as he threw.

Franklin hasn't really aired it out much yet. He's still working Missouri's underneath passing game with Michael Egnew and T.J. Moe, but what he's lacked in aesthetics, he's made up for in production.

That'll work for the Tigers.