Mizzou relieves defensive coordinator of duties

4 months 6 days 8 hours ago Sunday, September 10 2017 Sep 10, 2017 Sunday, September 10, 2017 7:52:00 PM CDT September 10, 2017 in Sports
By: Ethan Stein, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Head Football coach Barry Odom has announced that Defensive Coordinator and Inside Linebackers coach DeMontie Cross has been relieved of his coaching duties, effective immediately.

The move comes one day after Mizzou Football's 31-13 loss to South Carolina at Faurot Field. 

“I am very appreciative of all that DeMontie has done for Mizzou, and am sorry that this did not work out, however, after careful evaluation, I believe it is important to make this change now," Odom said in a statement released by the school Sunday evening. 

Cross inherited a great defense that has struggled the past two years.  In 2015, the defense gave up an average of 16.2 points a game and was ranked No. 6 in total yard per game.

In 2016, the first year under Cross, the defense gave up an average of 31.5 points a game and was ranked No. 118 in total defense.   

Through two games, The Tigers have the nations 90th ranked defense giving up an average of 426 yards a game.  This seasons, the team has allowed an average of 37 points a game.

The Missouri defense surrendered 31 points and 359 yards to the Gamecocks Saturday night and gave up 43 points and 492 yards to FCS opponent Missouri State in the season opener prior to Saturday's loss.

Cross was a former member of Odom's original staff and was also a former MU football player; he returned to his alma mater with 18 years of coaching experience. Cross spent 12 seasons with Power 5 programs and five more seasons in the National Football League. 

Cross will be paid based upon the terms of his contract, according to MU officials. 

Ethan Illers contributed to this report

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