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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: MISSOURI v AUBURN


December 2, 2013


James Franklin


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ Good morning, and welcome to the SEC Football Championship student‑athlete teleconference.テつ We'll be joined by three student‑athletes for ten minutes each from both Auburn and Missouri.
We'll begin today's teleconference with Missouri quarterback, James Franklin.テつ James, if you could just talk about your team as you prepare for Auburn and the SEC Championship?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ Yes, sir.テつ We've been doing a lot of preparation so far.テつ Just looking at the game film and starting to study them.テつ Today is technically our day off, and we start practice tomorrow, but we've been making sure that we're trying to get it down.テつ I'm trying to get to know them as good as we can so that way we can execute plays and study them and be able to hopefully have some success this weekend.

Q.テつ James, Coach Pinkel was on the teleconference yesterday talking about how much you guys have improved.テつ When you go back to the mid‑season when you guys opened SEC play with Vanderbilt and Georgia, you guys were looking pretty good then.テつ Where do you think you guys have made the improvement?テつ Because he thinks you're playing your best football at the end of the year.テつ Where do you think you've made the most improvement?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ I think it was actually after handling those first few wins in the SEC and being able to get that confidence especially after last year.テつ I think that especially after the Vanderbilt game and after the Georgia game, especially, it was, I think, kind of a turning point for a lot of us knowing that we can still succeed and still be great this season.

Q.テつ Then you guys obviously went through a lot of quarterback changes this year as a result of injuries.テつ Y'all went through one too.テつ You guys seemed to have one of the smoothest ones.テつ Can you talk about the transition from you to Maty and back to you and how well that went?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ I think it went really well.テつ Guys on the team did a great job of making him feel comfortable whenever I got hurt and came out.テつ They were really supportive and they all stepped up and made plays.テつ It built his confidence, and he's a great player, so he came in, made a lot of good throws, good runs and helped us get a lot of wins.テつ Then coming back after I was hurt, the guys are excited for me to be back.テつ Still, even a couple times when I was struggling, they made me feel comfortable and still had my back.

Q.テつ James, obviously you getting hurt this season, how difficult was it to watch games on one end, but then on the other end you're watching your team win games?テつ What was that like for you maybe trying to balance as the season was going?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ It was definitely frustrating having to watch on the sidelines because I wanted to be out there and playing to help my team win.テつ At the same time, it was good to see them winning and knowing that they could still go in there and make plays, especially on the opposite side of the ball, put up points and do a good job and be successful with Maty in there.テつ So it was exciting to see that.
At the same time it was frustrating because I wanted to be out there, and I just did a good job‑‑ my teammates did a good job of helping me through it and remaining positive.

Q.テつ To follow‑up, how was the last week you guys beating A&M?テつ Just take me through what that scene was like knowing how you were in control of your own destiny and to be able to control it and win that game?テつ Take me through what that moment was like at the end of the game.
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ It was pretty exciting to be able to experience that and be a part of it.テつ Knowing that it was my last home game in Columbia, it was definitely pretty emotional.テつ But just going out there with the guys and focusing on the big picture, still going out there and playing football and winning the game, that's what I tried to focus on most of the time.テつ My teammates did a great job of working together.テつ We all got the win.

Q.テつ Can you just talk about being in this moment in the SEC Championship game considering kind of the up‑and‑down career you've had?テつ Started off fast at Mizzou and then you had the injuries last year and part of this season.テつ Just what does this moment mean to you personally?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ It's pretty exciting to me to be able to be at this point and be able to come back this season and to have some success.テつ I'm just really thankful for it.テつ I'm glad that I did go through the things that I did, and it's helped me out a lot with my perspective and perception on some things.テつ I'm just thankful that I've gotten to come back after this year of getting hurt and my teammates have welcomed me back.

Q.テつ After the season you had last year, could you envision yourself being here at this point?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ Yes, and no, just because I knew that‑‑ are you talking about at the SEC Championship?

Q.テつ Yeah, not just you, but your team after everything you guys went through last season?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ Yes, sir.テつ That was definitely one of our goals in the beginning before this season was to make it to the SEC‑‑ or to win the SEC Championship.テつ Now we have the opportunity to do that, and we knew that last year we didn't handle injuries very well on both sides of the ball.テつ Lot of frustration.テつ We weren't working together very well, and that helped us for this year when we did have a couple of injuries on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.テつ We worked together as a team, and learned to pull through and not go against each other and be frustrated with each other but help lift each other up.テつ Coming into this season, we knew that if we could do that and stay healthy, even if we did have injuries, still remain positive and have each other's back, then we could have some success this year.

Q.テつ Can you just give us a scouting report on Auburn's defense from what you've seen so far on film?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ Yes, sir.テつ They're a really solid team.テつ There are some good players and they all go extremely hard.テつ I got to watch some of the live Alabama game yesterday or Saturday before our game and just seeing that, but from watching film, they're all really hard and they run the ball.テつ It's going to be a challenge.テつ They have some good players.テつ They don't seem to be‑‑ at least from what I've gotten, they don't do too many things to try to trick you.テつ They line up, run their basic things and they do a really good job at it.

Q.テつ Are they similar to any other defense that you all faced this year?
JAMES FRANKLIN:テつ If I broke it down more, yes, sir, I'm sure I could find some.テつ But I know they have a really good front seven and a good secondary.テつ So I think it will probably be one of the best front sevens we've played all year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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