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Three LSU Players to Watch Against New Mexico

Tigers will look to get their playmakers the ball early, test depth if game plan goes accordingly
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The Tigers continue game week preparation for their matchup against the New Mexico Lobos. A squad with a lethal run-game, this defense will have a completely different game plan for this one after facing an ‘air raid’ offensive attack against Mississippi State.

LSU is a heavy favorite in this one, and if things go as planned, we could see the Tigers go deep into their rotation to give some guys playing time. In the matchup against Southern, Brian Kelly and his staff gave most of the guys a shot, even true freshman quarterback Walker Howard. 

By no means are the Bayou Bengals expected to go up 37-0 in the first quarter against the Lobos like they did against Southern, but this squad should be able to give some backups a chance to shine.

Here are three LSU players to watch Saturday night:

Kayshon Boutte - Wide Receiver

I know, not a backup player who could shine bright, but Boutte has certainly been held in check through three games, even if it means he only played in the first quarter against Southern. Saturday night should be where this offense gives the ball to the All-American wide receiver and let him work.

Kelly spoke on Monday about Boutte’s role and how opposing defenses double teams have halted his success. In turn, it’s given sophomore wideout Malik Nabers a chance to shine.

READ MORE: Three Players to Watch Against New Mexico 

“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.”

Look for Boutte to get the ball early on short routes and make plays with his athleticism against an inferior opponent.

Jack Bech - Wide Receiver

Through the past two games, LSU wide receiver Jack Bech has been targeted only twice with one reception for 17 yards against Southern. Bech, who burst onto the scene as a freshman, was only on the field for eight plays in the Week 2 victory.

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But Kelly has assured Bech will see an expanded role this weekend against the Lobos. The sophomore wide receiver is back to 100% after nursing a stress fracture in his leg, looking to get a big chance Saturday to show out.

READ MORE: Brian Kelly Hopeful to get Jack Bech More Touches 

“I think, quite frankly, as coaches, and it starts with me, we've got to get him more involved,” Kelly said on Wednesday. “And you're gonna see that that's going to begin to take place this weekend.”

“Jack’s done everything he's been asked of,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “This shouldn't be any narrative out there that he hasn’t hasn’t or he's injured. We have to do a better job as a coaching staff.”

BJ Ojulari - Defensive End

If the game plan goes accordingly and the Tigers come out strong, the All-American candidate may not be on the field long, but his impact will be felt significantly. Ojulari will be going up against a New Mexico offensive line that has struggled mightily this season, giving the gifted pass rusher a chance to shine early.

Ojulari left his mark in the Mississippi State game, but Saturday night gives him the opportunity to contribute in a big way. Along with Ojulari, this entire defensive line should assert their dominance in Tiger Stadium.

READ MORE: How LSU RB Josh Williams Bet on Himself

It’s no secret the Lobos' offensive line is relatively weak compared to the Tigers’ front four, which should give this unit the chance to gain continuity and test their depth in the final slate before SEC play ramps up.

Final Thoughts

I know, not the sleeper picks to shine, but it’ll be imperative the Tigers get a fast start from their stars in this one. With Boutte and Bech looking to get hot early, this offense should be in good hands.

Defensively, Ojulari has been consistent, but that breakout game could come against New Mexico, even if it’s for a short stint if the Tigers go up big.

LSU will certainly test their depth in this one, so expect rotations to be a major factor in this Tigers' game plan Saturday night.