Auburn Opponent Scouting Report: Mississippi State Defense and Special Teams

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Oct 4, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Speedy Noil (2) is grabbed by Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Taveze Calhoun (23) at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs

Prior to the season, we considered Mississippi State to have one of the strongest defensive backfields in the SEC, and perhaps the best pair of corners in Taveze Calhoun and Jamerson Love. Statistically speaking, that appeared to be flawed.

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  • Calhoun is a future NFL corner that has accounted for 23 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss this season. He has also broken up four passes in the first five games. Last year, Calhoun picked off three passes, including two against Alabama, and returned a block kick 68 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma State.

    Love has 20 tackles, including two for losses and half a sack, this season. He has broken up three passes as well. Like Calhoun, the senior had three interceptions in 2013, including a touchdown.

    While Calhoun and Love have been solid, and are easily the most experienced corners on the roster with 17 starts apiece, Will Redmond has provided the some of the biggest plays in the secondary in 2014, including two interceptions. Redmond ranks third on the squad with 24 tackles, one of which was a TFL.

    Safety has been a bit of a revolving door so far this season. Justin Cox is extremely fast, and has started three games in 2014 at free safety, but has split time with Deontay Evans and Kendrick Market.

    Market started 12 games in 2013, and has started the first two SEC games in 2014 – playing free safety against LSU and strong safety last week against Texas A&M. Jay Hughes started the first four games at strong safety. He has nine tackles and an interception this season.