Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Maty Mauk steps up role for Missouri

The game against Florida was a defining moment for Mauk, a redshirt freshman last season. 

Getty Images

The game against Florida was a defining moment for Mauk, a redshirt freshman last season. 

HOOVER, Ala. — When former Missouri quarterback James Franklin sprained his shoulder in October, the Tigers' fate was placed in the hands of redshirt freshman Maty Mauk.

A season later — with experience and confidence instilled from being thrown into the fire — Mauk is primed to become the starter. And he should probably send thank you cards to the Florida Gators before the season kicks off.

Although Mauk came off the bench against Georgia in the fourth quarter last season and helped secure a victory, it was his performance in a starting role against the Gators that changed everything.

He led the Tigers on a two-play, 76-yard opening drive to give Missouri a 7-0 lead and supreme confidence for him and his teammates.

"They had that confidence in me to go deep that first play (41 yards) and throw a touchdown with (27) seconds against the third-ranked defense in the country," Mauk said Wednesday during his appearance at SEC media days. "That's something big, and that's when things really started to slow down for me. Late in the game, some things went wrong, I threw an interception, but I learned from that. But the game really slowed down for me against Florida and that's when I got better."

Mauk had four starts at midseason during which he went 3-1 (a double OT loss to South Carolina). Now all eyes are on Mauk, the undisputed starter, to see if he can help the Tigers repeat as SEC East champions.

He's hoping he can be for the Tigers what Johnny Manziel was for Texas A&M.

"I think he's one of, if not the, best college football players to ever play," Mauk said. "That's somebody that I want to not actually be like, but I can model my game after him. He can turn anything into something. … He can change a game so quick by being able to make plays. And that's something I feel like I can do, that I have to do. He's someone I can look to. I watch him on film all the time. He's a great player, and someone I'm going to try to play like."

Coach Gary Pinkel said Tigers players have a lot of confidence in Mauk. For good reason.

Mauk appeared in 13 of 14 games and passed for 1,071 yards. He also rushed for 229 yards while earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team.

"Maty's a playmaker," said Missouri junior center Evan Boehm. "He's done a great job and I'm excited to see what he'll do when he's got the ball in his hands all year long."

He's already eased into his most important role: team leader.

"I think he's a very natural leader, Pinkel said. "… First of all, he's got a great work ethic. He's a winner. Players know it. He's a remarkable competitor. They know it. They respect the way he leads because he leads in a very, very positive way. We're very fortunate to have a young player like him. That's why he did so well last year when we threw him in there as a freshman. There's a reason guys are like that. We're very fortunate to have him. Certainly if you ask him, he's got a lot of things to prove, too. He's the guy now. But I guarantee there's no one more excited about getting going and playing than that guy."

Contact Antonya English at Follow@TBTimes_Gators.

Maty Mauk steps up role for Missouri 07/16/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.