LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – The leader of arguably college football’s top defensive unit, Mississippi State defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation announced Tuesday.
The award is given annually to the nation's top assistant coach and was created in 1996 recognizing coach Frank Broyles' legacy of selecting and developing great assistants during his almost two decades as head coach at Arkansas.
Shoop is one of four semifinalists from the Southeastern Conference and is joined by Alabama offensive coordinator Michael Locksley, Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman and LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
From a historical perspective, Shoop's 2018 defense is one of the best in the 119-year history of MSU’s program. His unit has allowed the fewest touchdowns in the nation (12) and is allowing only 12.8 points per game, which leads the SEC, ranks second in the FBS and represents the program’s best per-game average since 1981 (12.4).
Through 11 games this season, Shoop’s squad is tops in the SEC in 13 different statistical categories, including scoring defense (12.8), touchdowns allowed (12), points allowed (141), passing defense (165.3), passing yards allowed (1,818), yards per attempt allowed (5.3), passing touchdowns allowed (5), opponent passer rating (98.01), total defense (275.6), total offensive yards allowed (3,032), yards per play allowed (4.19), opponent red-zone touchdowns (8) and opponent red-zone touchdown percentage (25.81).
MSU, Clemson and Michigan are the only teams in the FBS who rank in the top five nationally in both scoring defense and total defense. The Bulldogs are second in scoring defense (12.8) and fourth in total defense (275.6).
The Bulldogs did not allow a rushing touchdown the entire home slate of 2018 and opponents managed only three touchdowns on State in Davis Wade Stadium this season, spanning 28 quarters. MSU will carry a streak of 10 consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown at home into next season.
Shoop's unit has achieved success against elite competition as six out of MSU's last eight opponents have either been ranked at the time of the meeting or are currently ranked.
Shoop, an Oakmont, Pennsylvania, native is in his 16th season as a defensive coordinator and sixth in the SEC. He has coordinated units to top 25 national rankings in total defense in six out of the last eight years.
More on Shoop’s 2018 MSU Defense
• MSU has held its 2018 opponents to less than 14 points eight times, the most in the FBS.
• State allowed just 60 points at home in 2018, second fewest in the FBS and fewest in the Power 5.
• MSU has allowed more than 150 yards rushing just once this season (229 at Kentucky on Sept. 22), which is tied for the second-fewest in the FBS.
• The Bulldogs have allowed 20 or more points just twice, the fewest number of times among Power 5 teams.
• MSU has racked up 85 tackles for loss, which ranks third in the SEC.
• The Bulldogs have allowed just 36 points in the first quarter and 69 in the first half.
• State’s 6.27 points allowed per first half ranks fourth in the Power 5.
• MSU is forcing opponents to run 5.13 plays per point, which ranks second in the FBS.
From the list of 15, five finalists will be selected and invited to travel to Little Rock where the 2018 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 4 at the Marriott Hotel.