3 things to know about Maty Mauk, the Missouri QB thrust into the spotlight

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Missouri hosts No. 20 South Carolina in prime time on Saturday. Here are three things to know about the Tigers' quarterback as he settles in as starter after James Franklin's injury.

1. Nobody has ever thrown for more yards in a high-school career than Maty Mauk.

Mauk, now a redshirt freshman for the Tigers, wasn't the highest-profile quarterback recruit out of high school—a fact that had a lot to do with his size; he stands right at about 6 feet—but he dominated the high-school game like no other quarterback ever has. His junior season at Kenton (Ohio) High School, he threw for 5,670 yards and 69 touchdowns. His senior year wasn't far behind: He finished that season with 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns. In all, he finished his career with 18,932 passing yards and 219 touchdowns. Those are both national career records. The passing-yards record he broke belonged to Ben Mauk, his older brother who played for Cincinnati. The touchdowns record belonged to Chris Leak, and Mauk broke it by 34.

You've just watched a GIF of Mauk throwing a near-perfect 20-yard touchdown over top of the Florida Gators secondary—which has been one of the best secondaries in the country—on the second play of the first drive in his first collegiate start (though it was not his first appearance; he had thrown a combined six passes in three appearances before Saturday). The first play of said drive was a 41-yard pass.

That GIF is courtesy of Rock M Nation, SB Nation's Missouri blog. Head over there for more on Missouri.

2. He has a lot of folks across the field to work with.

Before Mauk led Mizzou to its 36-17 win over Florida last week, SB Nation's Bill Connelly said the Tigers' offense "makes the quarterback's job pretty easy" with how evenly offensive coordinator Josh Henson spreads the ball around. The Tigers had seven players with at least 40 intended touches—that's carries and pass targets combined—through six games. Against Florida, Mauk had five receivers with at least two receptions, and running back Josey Henry rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries. That's one way—or several ways, I guess—to make life easy on a freshman quarterback. Mauk won't add the quarterback-run dimension like injured senior James Franklin, but defenses can't exactly zero in on one particular target in its absence, either.

3. Until Franklin gets back, this is his show to run.

Franklin is out at least a few more weeks after injuring his shoulder against Georgia, and sophomore Corbin Berkstresser, the third-stringer, tore his medial meniscus in practice on Oct. 15, according to the Associated Press. Mauk's backup is Eddie Printz, a true freshman who is redshirting and would presumably only have his redshirt lifted in case of emergency.

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