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Notebook: Brian Kelly Details Defensive Success, Kayshon Boutte's Role

The Tigers' defense prepared for new challenge, offense looks to line up Boutte in different spots
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Brian Kelly hit on a number of subjects during his Monday press conference following the victory over Mississippi State. Ranging from his thoughts on the offensive line to Kayshon Boutte’s involvement in the offense, Kelly detailed a few topics.

Ultimately one of the biggest pieces to the Tigers’ success in their SEC opener was the dominance of their defense. Looking to continue their level of play the rest of the season, Kelly spoke highly of defensive coordinator Matt House and what he means to this program.

Here are a few takeaways from Monday’s presser:

Defensive Success/Matt House’s Intelligence

It’s no secret the game plan House dialed up Saturday night was to perfection. Containing quarterback Will Rogers was flawless, but also giving a mixture of different looks threw Mississippi State off of their game.

Kelly harped on the variations House provided and how his mastermind puts his players in position to be successful.

READ MORE: An Early Look at LSU's Matchup Against New Mexico

“The ability to put the pieces in place. Moving Jay down has benefited us greatly. Greg going back to the safety position has added a communication level that’s benefited us,” Kelly said. “That solidified the back end. Then we’re mixing things up. Schematically we’re where we need to be…Quite frankly [Mississippi State] didn’t know what they were getting snap to snap.”

Now, the Tigers enter a new challenge with New Mexico this weekend in Death Valley. An offensive approach that uses a run-first scheme, this LSU defensive line will be put to the test, but House is sure to get a game plan prepared.

Kayshon Boutte Touches

All-American wide receiver Kayshon Boutte may not be having the junior season he anticipated to this point, but if one thing is for certain, it’s that this team will give him his touches. We’ve seen sophomore wideout Malik Nabers standout, namely in the Mississippi State game, but it comes as a result of Boutte getting so much defensive attention.

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READ MORE: What's Next for Kayshon Boutte in this Offense? 

In the past, we’ve seen Boutte line up in numerous spots, so it’s only a matter of time until this offense begins to cater to his abilities. Kelly detailed the plan going forward with Boutte and how they can maximize his talents.

“It’s a little bit of both. It’s never all on the player and it’s never all on the coach at this level,” Kelly said. “We have to see how we can move him around and utilize his talents, then he has to continue to work hard in practice. Working together as a team is how you get better.”

Jayden Daniels’ Approach/Offensive Line Success

The numbers don’t lie for Daniels. The starting signal-caller for this squad has given defenses fits both on the ground and through the air, but it hasn’t been perfect. Yes, he has missed throws, but he’s also made throws.

Kelly spoke at length on Daniels’ decision making at times and how he needs to evaluate all of his progressions before tucking it and running.

READ MORE: Grading Jayden Daniels' First SEC Start 

“When he runs, we want to see if it was within the progression, if it was really good coverage, or the play wasn’t great, or we got beat and he got flushed, versus him turning down a read and took off. That’s what we’re trying to evaluate,” Kelly said.

One major talking point has been the different offensive line sets and that certainly was a takeaway against Mississippi State. Electing to start two true freshmen at the tackle position, Kelly and his staff lined up Emery Jones with Will Campbell.

Campbell has been a Day 1 starter, but Jones earned his first start against the Bulldogs. At the end of the day, there were a few miscues, but the Tigers battled through the hiccups and did their job to give Daniels time to create.

“He exceeded expectations,” Kelly said of Jones. “He’s not going to be perfect, but he’s active and has great feet.”