COLUMBIA, Mo. -- For Corbin Berkstresser's first collegiate start, he was given about 10 minutes' notice. When he takes the field as Mizzou's starting quarterback against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, he will have had a full week to consider how it will feel to face the country's top-rated defense.
Mizzou announced that James Franklin will miss the game with a sprained left knee suffered Saturday against Vanderbilt.
And while Berkstresser needed some time to get his composure against Vanderbilt, he promised that won't happen again.
"That really wasn't me and I felt uneasy," he said. "I'm not that guy that becomes nervous, and I definitely felt uncomfortable. But this week I will be composed on every play."
Berkstresser said he already has done extra film study, joining the Mizzou receivers for their film session Sunday afternoon.
Center Mitch Morse also will miss the game after suffering a knee injury, meaning redshirt freshman Brad McNulty will make the start. And guard Jack Meiners underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Monday and will miss several weeks.
The Tigers are expected to regain the services of linebacker Will Ebner, who missed the Vanderbilt game, and running back/punt returner Marcus Murphy, who missed the final three quarters with an injured finger.
In his two most significant chunks of playing time against Arizona State and Vanderbilt, Berkstresser has completed 30 of 71 passes with one touchdown pass.
Coach Gary Pinkel said he does not intend to use freshman quarterback Maty Mauk. But he is the backup.
"Right now we don't have any intention of playing him," Pinkel said. "Obviously if there was an injury that would come up. One of my friends called and said, 'Are you going to burn Maty Mauk's red shirt?' If he helps our team win, that's not burning it. Playing for two plays and not the rest of the year, that's burning it. We have to look at the different possibilities."