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Posted: Wednesday, 13 August 2014 6:53AM

5 Things to watch during LSU's upcoming season



QB CONTEST: Coach Les Miles does not appear to be in any rush to announce a starting quarterback in advance of the season opener against Wisconsin in Houston on Aug. 30. Anthony Jennings has a slight edge in experience. He was forced into action when Mettenberger was injured in the second half of LSU's 2013 regular season finale against Arkansas and led a game-winning touchdown drive. He then started the Outback Bowl but played inconsistently in the Tigers' 21-14 victory over Iowa. "The naming of a starter at quarterback will be when one separates himself from the other. ... We're not there," Miles said Sunday.

STYLE POINTS: Coaches say LSU's offense will probably look a lot different, stylistically, than it did a season ago. Mettenberger was a tall, strong-armed prototypical pocket passer. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, meanwhile, both count running with the ball, be it scrambling or running the option, as a significant part of their game. "The constant theme with our quarterbacks is that they're athletic. They can all run, which is a positive," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said.

VETERAN DEFENSE: LSU has most top play-makers returning to its the defensive backfield, including Tre'Davious White, Jalen Collins and Jalen Mills. Two starters return at linebacker and defensive end. But a recent hole has emerged at defensive tackle because of a biceps injury to Quentin Thomas, who is out indefinitely.

FOURNETTE'S FOCUS: The return of both Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard give LSU two seniors in its running back corps, but there's a chance that true freshman Leonard Fournette could emerge as the No. 1 back. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound running back from New Orleans was the most coveted running back recruit in America after finishing his high school career with 7,619 yards and 88 touchdowns rushing. Fournette said his immediate goals include rushing for 1,000 yards and being recognized as a Heisman Trophy candidate. "I am fast and I am a north-south runner," a confident Fournette said. "I have great hands for a running back and I can block."

YOUNG RECEIVERS: Sophomore Travin Dural, who had only seven catches last season, is now the most experienced receiver on the roster. True freshman Malachi Dupre and redshirt freshman John Diarse appear primed to emerge as regulars as well.

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