In a shocking development, Missouri's dangerous dual-threat quarterback James Franklin has been designated as a game time decision for the Tigers' game against Arizona State due to a shoulder injury.
Ashley Zavala, a reporter from Columbia, Missouri news station KOMU tweeted the news on Friday afternoon.
In response to rumors, Mizzou source tells me Missouri plans on starting Corbin Berkstresser at QB tomorrow vs. ASU, Franklin questionable.— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) September 14, 2012
Source says Mizzou will see how Franklin's shoulder feels tomorrow to determine his overall status.— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) September 14, 2012
Starting in his place will be redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser, a 6-foot-3, 230 pounder. Berkstresser was a highly touted recruit in the 2011 class, and saw action in Missouri's season opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, throwing a touchdown and running for another in the 62-10 win. Unlike Franklin, Berkstresser is not much of a running threat, and is a more traditional pocket passer.
Berkstresser was suspended from the team earlier this year after it was alleged he left the scene of an auto accident. He was reinstated in June.
All week, there had been no mention of Franklin being in doubt for Saturday's game until Friday afternoon. The point spread in the game also took an eyebrow-raising three-point plunge today to make the Tigers just 3.5-point favorites after opening at -7.5 earlier in the wek.
This will be the third straight game that ASU's defense will face an opponent's backup quarterback. The Sun Devils knocked out NAU starter Cary Grossart in the opener, and faced Illinois' backup tandem of Reilly O'Toole and Miles Osei last week. Next week, they will face Utah's backup quarterback Jon Hays, as starter Jordan Wynn has been lost for the season.