The LSU defense will start the season without its most experienced member.
Senior safety Jalen Mills suffered an ankle injury Wednesday morning that will sideline him for the first two games of the season, according to The Advocate’s Ross Delenger.
This would be a tremendous loss for the Tigers because Mills has started all 39 games of his three-year career. Mills is one of LSU’s most versatile players on defense, as evidenced by his successful transition from cornerback to safety in his sophomore season.
LSU won’t have a problem beating McNeese State in week 1, but the following week LSU plays Mississippi State on the road. Mississippi State hung 34 points on LSU in Baton Rouge last season (the Bulldogs’ first win at LSU since 1991), and that was with Mills.
Junior Rickey Jefferson will likely replace Mills but he does not have the same experience as Mills at a crucial position on the field. The loss of Mills could also force less experienced players into action, which may cost LSU in a close game early on.
As we saw last season one game could be the difference between making the College Football Playoff or heading to a lesser bowl game.