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Three LSU Football Players to Watch vs ULM

Baskerville, McGlothern look to continue recent strong stretch of play as 2021 draws to a close

The LSU defense is playing its best ball of the season after discovering what the players were good at and devising a scheme around what best suits them. Now it's the offense's turn as the Tigers get somewhat of a "get right" matchup with visiting ULM.

Here are three players we feel are poised for big nights against the Warhawks on Saturday.

Jack Bech (TE)

The true freshman tight end has now caught a touchdown in two straight games and is becoming the most consistent part ofa passing offense that has really struggled in recent weeks. For the season, Bech has brought in 37 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns and has caught at least four passes in each of the last three games. 

When the team lost Kayshon Boutte about a month ago now, it's been easy to see this passing offense just hasn't been the same since. Bech has provided a little consistency but can't be expected to carry the load like Boutte was able to do last season down the stretch. 

"We have not found a legitimate replacement besides Jack Bech," Orgeron said. "Our most dominant receiver right now is Jack Bech. Kayshon is a very special player obviously, and he reminds me of Ja'Marr Chase, and not a lot of them come around. But besides Jack Bech, we haven’t found that lead dog to take his place."

Bech's role will only continue to grow in this program over the next few years. He's a physical receiver who can get down field in a hurry on unsuspecting linebackers in coverage, while also finding the soft spot in a defense. He's poised to finish the year out strong.

Micah Baskerville (LB)

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The senior linebacker has been a key cog in the Tigers recent success with the 3-4 defense. Though Damone Clark and most recently Mike Jones have received a lot of praise, Baskerville has been a consistent force at linebacker for the Tigers this year as well. 

It all really came together for him against Arkansas as he really disrupted KJ Jefferson and the middle of the Razorbacks field with 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. 

"Micah is one of my favorite teammates of all time," Jones said. "He's hilarious but one thing about Micah is he's either the luckiest or the smartest football player I've ever met. Sometimes he'll go where he's supposed to go and the ball will find him. He's the most instinctual guy I've ever played around. He's savvy, he moves well but he's a true linebacker."

The linebacker group has been the one area of the defense that's held up well in terms of injury and all three of Clark, Baskerville and Jones are starting to really reap the rewards of the switch to more 3-4 and more blitzing. 

Dwight McGlothern (CB)

Speaking of the move to the 3-4, the only way it can work is if the back half of the defense holds up and the secondary, despite being down a number of key players, has played extremely well in recent weeks. The now sophomore McGlothern has been a huge part of that consistency, racking up 30 tackles, one forced fumble, an interception and six passes defended during his second season.

He's been asked to be the No. 1 corner with both Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks out with season ending injuries and has risen to the challenge, leaving Orgeron and the coaching staff extremely impressed. 

"I think Dwight is going to be one of the outstanding corners at LSU. I think he has a chance to be a high draft pick. He’s very savvy, and he’s a great young man," Orgeron said. "He’s got a great personality, he’s always laughing and cutting up a little bit, but knows when it is time to get serious. The thing about Dwight, he is a tall corner that can run. I know Coach Carroll would have loved him. He has great feet, he’s tough and he wants to learn."

Though the Tigers have dropped five of the last six contests, if there's one positive to be taken away from this season, it's been the improved play of the defense despite all of the key injuries. Players like McGlothern, Jay Ward and Cordale Flott in the secondary are leaving an impression that the future of the secondary is still in very good hands.