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Any lingering speculation about who will start at quarterback for Missouri can be put to rest.

Coach Gary Pinkel announced Thursday evening that James Franklin will get the nod in the season opener against Murray State. He revealed his decision after Franklin performed well during a scrimmage earlier in the day.

“James has shown that he’s very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that,” Pinkel said in a statement, according to “He’s really developed as a leader of this offense, and of this team, and we feel he’s ready to be the difference maker he was before all of the health challenges he dealt with last season.”

Franklin, a senior, struggled last season after a very impressive 2011 campaign, but he has been the heavy favorite to win the job over redshirt freshman Maty Mauk. However, Pinkel said he has not ruled out giving Mauk some playing time.

Franklin started 22 games over the last two seasons, and Pinkel’s announcement Thursday helped end what had to be a somewhat awkward situation for Franklin.

By Dan Parr, Courtesy of

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