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LSU outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson (4) celebrates after sacking Chattanooga quarterback Nick Tiano in the second half, Saturday, September 9, 2017, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. LSU defeated Chattanooga 45-10.

WHO'S THE TEAM LEADER?

Junior Devin White, who led the SEC with 133 tackles a year ago, anchors Dave Aranda’s defense from his inside linebacker spot and serves as the unit’s vocal leader. White blossomed into an every-down player last season and could be a first-round draft pick if he enters the NFL draft next spring.

WHAT'S THE TEAM'S BIGGEST ISSUE?

With the departure of two-year starter Danny Etling, LSU needs a quarterback (any quarterback) to step up in a big way and run Steve Ensminger’s new spread offense with the confidence needed to steer the Tigers through an SEC schedule that’s more treacherous than usual.

WHO'S PRIME TO BE THIS SEASON'S BREAKOUT PLAYER?

At 6 feet, 4 inches and 238 pounds, sophomore K’Lavon Chaisson looks like he was born to play the Buck linebacker spot. Fast and explosive, he can come off the edge as a pass-rusher or drop into coverage. Arden Key set LSU’s single-season record with 12 sacks in 2016 playing that position, but teammate Devin White believes Chaisson will own that mark by season’s end.

SEASON OUTLOOK

The defense will be solid again, but many questions remain on the offensive side of the ball — particularly at quarterback, running back and the O-line. If the Tigers can get consistent play, especially at the QB spot, they might be able to surprise a few people.

SCHEDULE

Date Opponent Time/TV

9.2 vs. Miami 6:30 p.m./ABC

9.8 Southeastern 6 p.m./TBD

9.15 at Auburn 2:30 p.m./CBS

9.22 Louisiana Tech TBD

9.29 Ole Miss TBD

10.6 at Florida TBD

10.13 Georgia TBD

10.20 Mississippi State TBD

11.3 Alabama TBD

11.10 at Arkansas TBD

11.17 Rice TBD

11.24 at Texas A&M TBD

PREDICTION: 7-5

Sheldon Mickles

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.