Taveze Calhoun Stepped Up When Bulldogs Needed Him


Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Stanley Williams (18) trips during a run as he is defended by Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Taveze Calhoun (23) during the first quarter of the game at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Taveze Calhoun became one of the most important players on Mississippi State’s roster this past week. When Will Redmond became the second player in the secondary to tear his ACL and be done for the season, the Bulldogs were going to rely on Calhoun more than they have his entire career.

And for a brief moment, it looked as if Calhoun was going to join his teammates on the injury list. During the second quarter, Kentucky Quarterback Patrick Towles made a pass that sailed high, Calhoun jumped to make a play on the ball and was hit in the hamstring area by the Kentucky receiver in the area. Calhoun would writhe on the ground in pain for a while and require assistance getting off the field.

The Bulldog training staff had Calhoun ride on a stationary bike and run sprints on the sideline to test his hamstring. He responded well, and much to the relief of Mississippi State fans, Calhoun was put back in the game.

But it was still undetermined if Calhoun would be effective in coverage. On the next Kentucky possession, Calhoun showed he was just fine.

Towles threw a pass deep to Calhoun’s receiver. Calhoun ran with the receiver step for step, and intercepted the pass. Not only did he intercept the pass, he did it one handed. As impressive as that was, Calhoun wasn’t done.

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In the opening drive for Kentucky in the second half, Patrick Towles tried to go deep on Calhoun again. Once again, Taveze was up for the challenge. This time Calhoun tipped the pass up in the air because he couldn’t quite get to it. While he was falling to the ground, he corralled the pass as it was falling to the ground. It was one of the most impressive plays of the night in all of college football.

Calhoun’s performance was important because the defense needed a leader to step up in the secondary after the injury to Redmond. If Calhoun can continue to play this well, the safeties will be able to cheat toward the side of Cleveland and Jiles. Big time players step up when needed and Calhoun did just that.

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