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For LSU Defense to Stop MS State, Two Players Need to Have a Great Game

Micah Baskerville (LB), Baskerville earned the game ball for his performance against Southern, which included a pick-six. But even taking it further than that one performance, it’s clear how much the coaching staff trusts and values his role on this defense.

He’s a candidate this week to see his opportunities drastically enhanced as one of the more consistent linebackers on the field. Facing an opponent that brings such a unique style of offense, one that Baskerville himself has seen multiple times, it’s essential to have those players on the field as much as possible.

“What he does on special teams,” Kelly said. “What he does on third down, he’s outstanding and in pass coverage. He really adds a dimension to our defense that’s really important. And he’s so selfless. We wanted to reward that with the game ball.”

Given some of the inconsistencies that have cropped up at linebacker, look for Baskerville to be an essential part of the Tigers’ defensive game plan while carrying on his special team’s role.

Greg Brooks (S)

One of LSU’s significant personnel changes within week two was moving Brooks from the nickel corner spot back to a traditional safety. As a result, Jay Ward was moved to his more natural spot at nickel, and Kelly said the improvements in communication were felt.

It’s a move that the Tigers will continue with as the Bulldogs come to town with their high-powered, passing offense.

“I think the corners have held up pretty well, their play has been consistent, they’ve been on the body, they play the ball well in the air,” Kelly said. “I thought our tackling got better. Greg Brooks back playing at the safety position has enhanced our communication to the level we felt good about. Putting Ward down in a natural nickel position fits his game, so I think the pieces were moved in the right place.”

Of course, communication will be essential, but Brooks also represents the secondary as a whole. LSU is hoping to have Sevyn Banks available for his first game action with the Tigers. The rotation of Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Mekhi Garner, and Colby Richardson will undoubtedly be tested with the expectation the Bulldogs throw it anywhere from 50-60 times.

“It’s just another opportunity for us to showcase our skillset,” Garner said. “We’re learning how to play with each other, learning how to communicate and understand what we’re supposed to do in the back end, understanding the calls. I feel like we’re slowly but surely coming together.”