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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
QBs ailing at Mizzou, South Carolina

By Edward Aschoff



Health is still an issue for quarterbacks at Missouri and South Carolina.

While Missouri coach Gary Pinkel upgraded the status of senior quarterback James Franklin (shoulder) to questionable on Monday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said starter Connor Shaw has missed practice because of the same virus that kept him out of the start of last week's Missouri game.

"I don't know exactly what our trainer's calling it, but he's sick," Spurrier said.

Shaw isn't likely to practice Tuesday and is questionable for the Gamecocks' home game against Mississippi State on Saturday. Shaw entered last week's game against the Tigers with a sprained knee, but he replaced Dylan Thompson with a little more than six minutes remaining in the third quarter, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns in South Carolina's 27-24 overtime win.

Maty Mauk
Maty Mauk will likely start for Missouri on Saturday against Tennessee.
If Shaw can't go this weekend, Thompson, who threw for 222 yards and an interception against Mizzou, would start again.

"Dylan did not play all that poorly last week," Spurrier said. "He threw some good ones. He had few sail on him, but overall he played pretty, pretty well."

As for Franklin, Pinkel wouldn't say he's doubtful for Saturday's game against Tennessee. The recovery time for Franklin's injury was originally three to five weeks, and Saturday would mark the third week. However, redshirt freshman Maty Mauk will likely make his third straight start this weekend against the Vols.

Still, it has to be reassuring to see Franklin progressing with his rehab and inching closer to returning to the playing field.

"I was not there [Sunday] when [Franklin] threw," Pinkel said. "I was in Seattle. It is nice to see him out there throwing. It has to be comfortable for him, when he's ready to play."

Both are also in good hands with their backups. Mauk has been the more impressive of the two, but Thompson has more experience and has replaced Shaw before because of injuries. He hasn't looked as sharp at times this season, but he has won games. Mauk threw for 295 yards against Florida's top-rated defense two weeks ago, before throwing for 249 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss to the Gamecocks.

The interesting thing for both of these teams is as they sort through their quarterback situations, they'll be fighting for the SEC Eastern Division crown. Missouri still controls its own destiny and would make it to Atlanta for the SEC championship game if it wins its final four SEC games. But if South Carolina wins out and Missouri loses at least one more, South Carolina would own the head-to-head tiebreaker.