LSU football: Tigers to watch vs. Mississippi State

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Sep 5, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers safety Rickey Jefferson (29) sacks McNeese State Cowboys quarterback Daniel Sams (4) during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive end position

Defensive end Tashawn Bower assisted safety Rickey Jefferson on a sack during LSU’s season opener before severe weather ended the game in the first quarter. Bower looked good during the small sample size, but it is not him that causes uncertainty on the defensive front. Nor is it fellow junior Lewis Neal.

It is a lack of depth on the defensive line, primarily at the defensive end position.

Sophomores Sione Teuhema and Deondre Clark did not dress out last Saturday against McNeese State, which could mean a few things. It could mean that they have not been performing well in practice. Or it could simply be a motivational tactic.

"“You have to understand, nobody’s spot is guaranteed, and I told them they are only going to get on the field by practicing,” Bower told 247sports. “They really have to practice hard, watch film and show the coaches that. There are some mistakes they make, but they are all correctable things. Hopefully they have done the right thing and tried correcting it.”"

While neither player was expected to make a tremendous impact, it would certainly be preferred to have as much depth as possible at the position. Mississippi State’s running game could wear down LSU’s defensive line, and against a talented running quarterback in Dak Prescott, the Tigers will need as many fresh bodies as they can get up front.

One player who fans have been waiting to see in action since he arrived on campus is true freshman Arden Key, an athletic defensive end whose speed could make him valuable to the Bayou Bengals this Saturday. He is one of the most highly-touted prospects of the LSU football team’s 2015 recruiting class, and has the potential to grow into an All-SEC player before his time in Baton Rouge is over.

Key could become an impact player from Day 1, but due to last weekend’s cancellation, it is impossible to know whether or not he will struggle to adjust to the college game. Either way, expect him to see the field early and often against Mississippi State.

Next: Brandon Harris