FootballScoop is proud to announce that Bob Shoop is the recipient of the 2018 FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
If the goal of any defense is to keep the opponent out of the end zone -- and what would the goal be other than that? -- then Mississippi State has one of the best defenses of the past decade.
Through their 12-game regular season, Mississippi State permitted only 12 touchdowns. That number not only led the nation by eight scores (Clemson and Appalachian State both allowed 20 through their first 12 games), it's the best number by any FBS team since 2011.
Only five Bulldog opponents posted more than 10 points. Four were held out of the end zone entirely, and a fifth -- LSU -- needed three plays to cross the goal line after taking over after an interception at the Mississippi State 3-yard line. In fact, even Mississippi State's worst game was still a good showing, where the Bulldogs limited the nation's No. 2 scoring offense to half its season average, when Alabama (47.9 points per game) posted a season-low 24 points against Shoop's troops.
In addition to leading the nation in scoring defense, the Bulldogs were third in total defense (268.4 yards per game), second in yards per play (4.14), first in pass efficiency defense (97.26), seventh in yards per carry allowed (3.04), tied for 11th in sacks (3.0 per game), fifth in third down defense (27.71 percent) and led the nation in red zone touchdown percentage. In 32 penetrations of Mississippi State's 20-yard line, opponents scored only eight touchdowns -- the best such mark in the past two years.
Opposing passers tried 367 passes against Mississippi State, completing only 199 (54.2 percent) for 1,970 yards (5.4 per attempt) with five touchdowns against a dozen interceptions.
Opposing rushers did not fare much better. In 411 runs, they gained just 1,251 yards and scored seven touchdowns. In 778 total plays against Shoop's defense, only 131 -- roughly one in six -- gained 10 yards or more, which is 12th nationally.
Defensive linemen Jeffrey Simmons and Montez Sweat were named First Team All-SEC honorees, while defensive back Johnathan Abram made the Second Team.
A Pittsburgh-area native, Shoop played at Yale -- where he won a team award for team spirit, dedication and leadership -- and jumped into coaching at his alma mater in 1989. He returned to New Haven in 1994 as defensive coordinator, and has since coordinated defenses for Villanova, William & Mary, Vanderbilt, Penn State and Tennessee, in addition to serving as head coach at Columbia from 2003-05. This was his first season at Mississippi State.
Shoop was also a finalist for the Broyles Award and won the FootballScoop FCS Coordinator of the Year award at William & Mary in 2009.
"This award is a product of hard work, attention to detail, and selflessness," Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead said. "I am proud of Bob, our staff, and our players for finishing the regular season as the nations No. 1 scoring defense. Bob is as outstanding a person as he is a coach. We are glad he is apart of the Bulldog family."
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Bryan Brown [Appalachian State], Don Brown [Michigan], Clark Lea [Notre Dame], Tosh Lupoi [Alabama], David Reeves [UAB], Scot Sloan [Georgia Southern], Brent Venables [Clemson], Bert Watts [Fresno State] and Shoop) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Shoop will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Coordinator of the Year award are Nick Holt (USC, 2008), Kirby Smart (Alabama, 2009), Vic Fangio (Stanford, 2010), John Chavis (LSU, 2011), Bob Diaco (Notre Dame, 2012), Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State, 2013), Venables (Clemson, 2014), Don Brown (Boston College, 2015), Jim Leavitt (Colorado, 2016) and Kevin Steele (Auburn, 2017).
1st Nationally - Scoring Defense
1st Nationally - Passing Efficiency
2nd Nationally - Yards Per Play
1st Nationally - Red Zone TDs Allowed
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