October 24, 2008

Smith making progress at safety

Zach Smith had the most productive game of his young career this past Saturday at Tennessee.

The sophomore safety led the Mississippi State defense with 11 tackles against the Vols shattering his previous career high of seven set earlier this year.

"Saturday was no different for me," Smith said. "I just came in when (Derek) Pegues needed a blow and I found myself being able to make a few tackles. I thought I probably had my best game on special teams and I think that's where me only having four tackles, I had (eleven)."

Smith has already topped his 2007 tackle total with 24 stops this season. He also has 0.5 tackles for loss and recovered one fumble.

Smith has played in 19 of a possible 20 games during his Bulldog career. He missed the West Virginia game last season due to injury. During that span, Smith has amassed 45 tackles, two pass deflections, a fumble recovery and 0.5 tackle for loss.

Smith said the adjustment to the speed of the Southeastern Conference was difficult for him as a freshman last season.

"I was prepared but just playing in front of 80,000 as opposed to playing in front of only a couple thousand back home high school," Smith said. "I just had to get comfortable out there. The game has slowed down a lot more for me."

Smith credits his early success to playing and learning behind a talented group of seniors in Pegues, Keith Fitzhugh and De'Mon Glanton.

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