Missouri free safety Joshuah Bledsoe is a creature of habit.

Whether it’s watching game film or getting in a few more reps in the indoor facility, the junior is a firm believer that more is better.

In last Saturday's 38-27 win over Ole Miss on homecoming at Faurot Field, Bledsoe put together his most productive game this season for the Tigers with seven solo tackles, two breakups and one forced fumble.

Bledsoe is tied with Cameron Wilkins as the fourth-leading tackler for Missouri (5-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) with 19 this year. Bledsoe has 17 solo stops, two assists, seven breakups and one tackle for loss.

Bledsoe said he is playing with confidence this season in a system he's grown comfortable in.

“It’s more of a man scheme, which is more of my specialty,” Bledsoe said. “Just having experience under your belt definitely plays a role, and then being able to be out there and play with confidence.”

Missouri defensive coordinator Ryan Walters has noticed that confidence as well.

Walters said he can’t remember the last time Bledsoe made a mental error.

“He was a beast this offseason just in terms of doing extra film, extra lifting sessions in the weight room or getting in the indoor facility and working on his craft,” Walters said. “He was doing something every day. He was in our office all the time, and you’re seeing the fruits of his labor now.

"He’s definitely matured and I think he understands exactly what we are doing on defense.”

The Tigers rely on Bledsoe in a big way, Walters said.

“He allows the defense to be multiple and diverse and focus on the run game because of what he can do covering the slot,” Walters said.

A graduate of Dekaney High School in Houston, Bledsoe was listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com.

As a freshman, Bledsoe saw action in 12 games for MU and made 13 tackles, including one sack. He also had multiple-tackle outings three times, including three stops at Georgia.

Last season, Bledsoe ended 12th on the Tigers with 28 tackles. His biggest play of the year came at Tennessee on Nov. 17, when he scooped up a fumble and raced 39 yards for a touchdown.

This year has been another step forward in his progression.

"You bring him in as a high school kid and kind of see them mature and now become the players that you thought you saw through the recruiting process," Walters said. "He’s lived up to those expectations and more just through his work ethic.”

Bledsoe attributes all of his success to being able to play freely in the secondary.

“Whatever the team needs me to do, I will be alright with it,” Bledsoe said. “Some plays I have to be in the box, sometimes I have to tackle and then I will just be out there covering.”

Bledsoe knows the Tigers, the only team in the SEC East without a conference loss, will have a bull's-eye on their back the next three games against Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Georgia.

Bledsoe said the team needs to have a straightforward mindset on the road.

“We know we have to go out and handle our business,” Bledsoe said. “We can’t let any away game theories creep into our minds. We just have to go in and handle business like we know we are going to.”