5 causes for Tigers optimism within the Texas Bowl

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Only one extra day till the LSU Tigers lastly takes the sector in opposition to the Kansas State Wildcats within the ultimate non-championship bowl sport of the 2021 marketing campaign.

The staff comes limping in with a really depleted roster, however it’s ample alternative for lots of the youthful gamers to see the sector. Whereas the offensive will probably be principally the identical group they anticipated to begin the season with, the opposite positions have somewhat totally different really feel to them.

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Depth chart launched for the LSU-Kansas State Texas Bowl sport

The Tigers look to complete with a excessive observe as they put together for a brand new period of LSU soccer. Sitting at 6-6, they will both end with a successful document or a shedding one for the primary time since 1999.

We’ll follow the previous right here with 5 causes the staff finds a solution to win in Houston.

BJ Ojulari and the entrance 4

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Photos

If there may be one group which you can depend on, it’s the LSU entrance 4. Regardless of shedding some key gamers within the group this 12 months they do have their chief in sacks, BJ Ojulari. The proficient sophomore completed with six sacks on the 12 months and can look to harass Skylar Thompson on this sport.

Standout freshman Maason Smith will play his normal spot inside subsequent to Jaquelin Roy and Soni Fonua will man the strongside edge. Count on to see an excellent quantity of rotation with Savion Jones and Desmond Little as nicely.

The Wildcats have allowed simply 22 sacks this 12 months, so Ojulari and the protection have to dial up the stress. Attacking the proper aspect of the offensive line is likely to be the way in which to go. Proper deal with Christian Duffie and guard Ben Adler allowed a mixed 41 quarterback pressures. By far essentially the most on the staff.

Corey Kiner is ready to take benefit

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Photos

With no Tyrion Davis-Value enjoying within the sport as he determined to organize for the NFL draft, it opens the door for the youthful backs like freshman Corey Kiner. The Ohio “Mr. Soccer” rushed for over 7,000 yards and 116 touchdowns in highschool, now he will get to show why he was extremely touted as a four-star recruit.

Of his 271 speeding yards this season, 183 got here after contact in 2021. With 67.5% of his yards coming after first contact, you’ll be able to anticipate Kiner to make use of that to his benefit in opposition to the Wildcats protection. Particularly given how poor the offensive line play was this 12 months.

Within the 2021 marketing campaign, the Wildcats protection missed 155 deal with makes an attempt led by Daniel Inexperienced’s 19. Search for Kiner to make use of this to his benefit because the offense tries to get the bottom sport going in opposition to Kansas State.

An skilled Mike Jones Jr steps up

AP Photograph/Derick Hingle

There isn’t a Damone Clark on this sport. It doesn’t seem that there will likely be a Micah Baskerville both so it’s subsequent man up. That man simply occurs to be former Clemson linebacker, Mike Jones Jr.

Jones was anticipated to play a giant function for the protection in 2021 however it took somewhat longer than anticipated for him to essentially choose up the protection and what was requested of him. With the staff depleted at linebacker, the previous Tiger has to show he can step up and fill the void.

Regardless of not beginning, Jones tallied essentially the most tackles of his profession with 31. He added 2.5 TFLs with one sack and one cross defended. Previous to LSU, Jones was on a staff that performed for 2 nationwide championships and one other New Years Six bowl sport. He is aware of what it takes and now the Tigers protection wants him to be the man on this one.

The freshman trio make an influence

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports activities

We have now talked fairly a bit concerning the youth of this staff and so they have some actually proficient cross catchers even with out Kayshon Boutte on this one. The trio of Malik Nabers, Brian Thomas Jr, and Jack Bech may have ample alternatives, they simply have to take benefit.

It stays to be seen simply who precisely is taking the snaps at quarterback between Garrett Nussmeier, Tavion Faulk, or Jontre Kirklin. Even with a wildcat system with former highschool quarterback like Kirklin, the staff must throw it to maintain Kansas State off stability. After they do, the younger guys should be prepared.

This 12 months, Bech led the group with 43 receptions for 489 yards and three touchdowns. Subsequent up is Nabers with 26 receptions for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Lastly, Thomas Jr hauled in 26 passes for 344 yards and two scores.

Nabers is likely to be the very best of the group, not named Boutte, however all three will should be prepared when referred to as upon.

Jontre Kirklin pulls a rabbit out of the hate

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports activities

As we close to kickoff, it feels just like the depth chart launched on Sunday was only a formality with Garrett Nussmeier and Tavion Faulk listed on the two-deep at quarterback. It’s extra probably that Brad Davis’ contingency plan all alongside is vast receiver Jontre Kirklin.

The previous highschool quarterback was not extremely touted as a signal-caller and extra of an athlete. Ranked No. 48 as an athlete as a three-star recruit. After signing with LSU within the 2017 recruiting class, he is likely to be the important thing to successful this sport for the Tigers.

In highschool, Kirklin may throw it and run it for Lutcher. In three consecutive seasons, Kirklin threw for over 2300 yards and 29 touchdowns. On the bottom, he added an extra 3,000 yards and 51 touchdowns.

Jontre Kirklin is the largest key if the Tigers do as anticipated and roll with him because the quarterback if Nuss doesn’t begin.

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Comply with Patrick on Twitter: @PatrickConnCFB

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