Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Tweaks Defense but Results No Different

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Tweaks Defense but Results No Different

Article excerpt

ATHENS, Ga. * The youth movement on Missouri's defense continued Saturday at Georgia. The results looked no different.

Freshman cornerback Adam Sparks made his first career start, replacing senior Logan Cheadle in Barry Odom's starting lineup. After last week's loss at Kentucky, Odom insisted his rookies would have bigger roles in the coming weeks and could no longer be treated like freshmen.

The Tigers were younger in the secondary but not much better as Georgia pillaged the Mizzou defense for 696 yards in the 53-28 victory. The Tigers managed one takeaway and only one sack.

"In our man-to-man coverage we weren't very good," Odom said. "We went to a zone concept and didn't get enough rush in time to be able to cover up all the zones. I was hoping we could get a little more pressure early on and it didn't happen."

Odom said Sparks earned the promotion based on his recent play but both corners will continue to split snaps.

Late in the second quarter, the Mizzou secondary got even younger as cornerback DeMarkus Acy was sidelined after a vicious collision with running back Sony Michel. Jerod Alton, a redshirt freshman, replaced Acy for the rest of the half, though Acy returned for the third quarter.

The Tigers were already playing shorthanded at safety. For the second straight week Missouri senior strong safety Anthony Sherrils did not travel with the team while recovering from a concussion. Sherrils, MU's fourth-leading tackler with 24 stops, didn't make last week's trip to Kentucky after experiencing concussion symptoms during the Tigers' bye week. He leads all active players with 124 career tackles. Once again, sophomore Ronnell Perkins started in Sherrils' place.

CROCKETT OUT WITH SHOULDER INJURY

Damarea Crockett's eight-yard run midway through the third quarter was his longest run and his last. Crockett was shaken up on the play, and once he got to the sideline he went to the team's medical tent with team surgeon Pat Smith. Crockett was fitted in a sling for a right shoulder injury. …

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