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Things to Monitor in Week 2

Now, a more significant challenge awaits the Mississippi State Bulldogs. How will this program deal with their passing attack? How will rotations look at the running back position? There are a few things we hope to learn Saturday evening.

Here are things to monitor:

It’s Mike Leach’s specialty. He’s done it at every program he’s been to, and it’s transitioned well to Mississippi State, especially with quarterback Will Rogers lining up under center. Through the Bulldogs’ first two games, Rogers has thrown the ball a whopping 98 times for 763 yards and nine touchdowns.

Their success in the passing game is truly remarkable and will be something the Tigers must focus on. After speaking with starting cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse last week, he understands opposing offenses will seek to attack the LSU secondary, making this position group even more ready to prove them wrong and lock up when targeted.

The Tigers are set to return Sevyn Banks into the rotation to give this secondary some depth. It’ll be another player this coaching staff looks to ease into things, but someone of his caliber will only help this defense.

Look for this secondary to be the deciding factor Saturday night. If they show up and lockdown Mississippi State’s receivers, things have the chance to go LSU’s way in this one.

How will John Emery fit into this running back room?

Emery was suspended for the first two games of the season due to academic issues, even after missing all of 2021. The senior back has been suspended 15 straight games and hasn’t touched the field since 2020.

We’ve seen this Tigers rushing attack be led by the duo of sophomore Armoni Goodwin and Penn State transfer Noah Cain, but how will Emery fit into the mix? Saturday will tell the story in this one. Yes, Emery will be suiting up, but Coach Kelly understands it’ll take time for his legs to get back underneath him, gradually easing him into the rotation.

What we hope to see in this one is Emery get into a rhythm and give this LSU backfield a safety net when needed. Kelly has harped on the growth this program has seen in Emery’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Let’s see if that’s how they use him on Saturday.

Can this offensive line hang against SEC opponents?

Kelly spoke highly of his new starting offensive line this week and expected it to look the same going forward. This coaching staff decided to switch things up against Southern, putting Charles Turner in at center while flipping Garrett Dellinger to left guard.

LT: Will Campbell

LG: Garrett Dellinger

C: Charles Turner

RG: Anthony Bradford

RT: Miles Frazier