Mississippi State’s defense is one of the best in the country, not only at being efficient, but also at the bottom line — allowing touchdowns.

The Bulldogs have allowed the fewest touchdowns (nine) in college football, three fewer than Fresno State, five fewer than Auburn and Clemson and seven fewer than Alabama.

As a sort of glimpse behind the curtain, coach Joe Moorhead and defensive coordinator Bob Shoop recently talked with Matt Stinchcomb of the the SEC Network’s “SEC Film Room” to dissect the defense’s recent performance against Louisiana Tech.

“Certainly the big thing with our defense, because a lot of things are communicated based on formation, or double called, we got to make sure everybody’s on the same page,” Moorhead said. “Ended up making a good play there, got overturned though.”

As a five wide receiver formation was put on the screen for Louisiana Tech, Shoop explained how the Bulldogs wanted to game plan against it, or what he described as an “empty” offensive formation, meaning no one but the quarterback was in the backfield.

“In this game, we spent a lot of time talking about how we wanted to attack empty,” Shoop said. “We had a blitz designed here, where we were bringing the “Mike,” (linebacker) he was reading the center, and whichever way the center turned, he was twisting opposite the center. Here’s an example, this is after that initial play. He doesn’t do a great job, but at least he takes away the outside by alignment technique. I’d like to see him do better by alignment technique.”

Shoop even explained how the quarterback’s shoulders, and angle, show where the ball is going to be thrown, and how far down the field.

“Our post players have to be able to make a play from the inside edge of the numbers, to the inside edge of the numbers,” he said. “I think there’s an opportunity that John (Abrams) left on the field right there, and I think he’d say the same thing.”