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MU moving forward without Cross; congrats to Smith for first LU win

Lincoln won its home opener Saturday night, beating Lincoln (PA) 49-19. (Tony Mullen/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY --- Saturday night was a big one for our area's biggest college football teams.

It was the first home appearance for the new-look Lincoln Blue Tigers with a first-year coach who's talking national championships --- at their new and improved stadium, no less.

This baby's so new and improved, it can make your clothes cleaner and your breath fresher. Guaranteed!

It was also our first look at the Missouri Tigers picking on somebody their own size --- in prime time and on national TV, no less.

Were they ready for prime time?

You bet they were.

Well, for 17 minutes, anyway.

Unfortunately, there were still 43 minutes left. And those 43 minutes, one would assume, were the final straw for head coach Barry Odom, who fired defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross a day after the 31-13 loss.

The timing was odd. Why now, why not a week earlier?

Because the opener was a defensive embarrassment --- it looked like the Missouri defense didn't have enough players on the field in the opener against FCS Missouri State --- a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2009. There were Bears running free all over the field., so the Tigers figured to be no match for the high-flying South Carolina Gamecocks of the SEC.

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