LSU football: Tigers to watch vs. Mississippi State

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Oct 25, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jaylen Walton (6) fights off LSU Tigers linebacker Kendell Beckwith (52) as he carries the ball in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Kendell Beckwith

Junior linebacker Kendell Beckwith is one of the most talented players on the LSU defense. The Tigers will be leaning heavily on him this Saturday, as they face one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the country in Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott and former Bulldogs running back Josh Robinson torched the LSU football team for a combined 570 total yards last season, and although Robinson has left for the NFL, the Tigers are still going to have their hands full.

In junior Ashton Shumpert, Mississippi State has a bruising back that can run between the tackles. Fellow junior Brandon Holloway is undersized at 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, but he can become a big play threat when he gets into open space.

When LSU met Mississippi State in 2014, Beckwith had yet to take over the starting middle linebacker job. Senior D.J. Welter was the starter, who occasionally took bad angles and lacked the athleticism to contain Prescott.

2015 will be a different story with Beckwith in the middle. He has the athleticism to keep up with Prescott, and the instincts to make a major impact in the running game.

If Beckwith is able to help contain the Bulldogs’ star quarterback, it could be the difference in the game.

Next: Malachi Dupre