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Missouri fires defensive line coach Franklin after 5 games

Tennessee running back Jabari Small, right, runs past Missouri's Jaylon Carlies, center, and Martez Manuel during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — First-year Missouri defensive line coach Jethro Franklin was fired Sunday, one day after Tennessee ran for 452 yards and scored on 10 of 11 offensive possessions in a 62-24 blowout at Faurot Field.

Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement that “a change in direction at the defensive line coach was needed,” and that defensive analyst Al Davis will move into a full-time coaching role. Davis coached defensive tackles at Illinois last season.

Franklin was hired in January to replace Brick Haley, who was replaced by Drinkwitz after his first season in charge.

The Tigers have struggled under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks all season, and the problems have been especially pronounced on the ground. They are 127th nationally in total defense and last against the run, allowing 308 yards per game.

The Tigers are 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. They play North Texas on Saturday.

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