When you look at the stats, Mississippi State’s defense has played what you might describe as “well enough to win” during this two game losing streak, but defensive coordinator Bob Shoop says that’s not necessarily the case. He says that in both games, there were opportunities to make plays that could have won the game in spite of the offense’s woes.
All-American defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons echoed those sentiments, stating that even when teams like Florida scheme to take the defensive line out of the game, the players have to find a way to overcome that and make a play.
Senior safety Johnathan Abram spoke about speaking in front of the team on Sunday, trying to keep his teammate’s focused on the long season ahead. Abram made it clear the defense has to find a way to make more plays, be it turnovers or just limiting the opposing offenses.
Mississippi State’s defense has kept them in the game the past two weeks, but now the Bulldogs are looking to win on that side of the ball, by forcing turnovers and finding their own way into the end zone. The Bulldogs have grabbed an interception in each of the last three games, but as Coach Shoop pointed out, have yet to recover a fumble. In a game like Saturday’s, with two elite defenses going head to head, whoever wins the turnover battle is going to have a huge advantage. Mississippi State definitely has its eyes on getting the ball away from Auburn.