Missouri fires defensive coordinator Cross

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Missouri defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross is shown watching quarterbacks Marvin Zanders, left, and Drew Lock warm up before a spring practice in March 2016 on Faurot Field. The Tigers relieved Cross of his duties on Sunday, per a release from Missouri Athletics.

DeMontie Cross' tenure at Missouri came to an end on Sunday afternoon when he was relieved of his duties as Missouri's defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, per a Missouri Athletics release.

The firing comes after Missouri's 31-13 loss to South Carolina on Saturday. The Missouri defense has given up 73 points in two games to start the 2017 season.

Barry Odom hired Cross as the Tigers' defensive coordinator after being named Missouri's head coach in 2016. However, after the Missouri defense struggled early in the 2016 season, Odom took over play-calling duties from Cross midway through the year.

Since that time, Odom has remained in charge of defensive play calls. Cross' main role with the 2017 Missouri team has been as its inside linebackers coach.

"I am very appreciative of all that DeMontie has done for Mizzou, and am sorry that this did not work out," Odom said in a release. "However, after careful evaluation, I believe it is important to make this change now."

Missouri has given up an average of 425.5 yards during the first two games of the 2017 season, with one game being against FCS opponent Missouri State. The Tigers' next game is this upcoming Saturday against Purdue, a team that is averaging 36 points per game on the season.

Supervising editor is Pete Bland.

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