Just two games into his second season as Missouri's defensive coordinator, DeMontie Cross is looking for work. Cross was relieved of his duties after Saturday's 31-13 loss to South Caroline, the school announced on Sunday.
"I am very appreciative of all that DeMontie has done for Mizzou, and am sorry that it did not work out," coach Barry Odom said in a statement, according to Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com. "However, after careful evaluation, I believe it is important to make this change now."
Missouri used to be known as "D-Line Zou" -- a moniker it earned through years of consistently producing fantastic defensive fronts that wreaked havoc in opposing backfield's. Then Cross was hired as Barry Odom's defensive coordinator, and it changed on a dime.
The Tigers finished last in the SEC in total defense in 2016 (479.7 yards per game), last in scoring defense (37.0 points per game allowed) and 10th in yards per play (6.07). It didn't get much better in 2017. The Tigers gave up 43 points and 492 yards to FCS Missouri State in the season opener prior to Saturday's loss to the Gamecocks.
Despite that, Odom maintains that Cross' departure isn't related to the Tigers' prolonged defensive woes.
Barry Odom on DeMontie Cross: "We decided to make a move within the staff. This has zero to do with on-the-field performance."— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) September 11, 2017
If it doesn't have to do with the performance on the field, then whatever the problem is must be really problematic.