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Why Bulldog linebacker Leo Lewis must set the tone early in Knoxville

Leadership and a high motor will be a must in tomorrow’s matchup, as Lewis will be heavily relied upon to lead Mississippi State defensively.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Louisiana v Mississippi State Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Though in a losing effort to Auburn, senior linebacker Leo Lewis is coming off a respectable outing against the Tigers. He led the team in tackles with eight, one forced fumble, his first of the season, and two fumble recoveries. Expect him to be a terror against Tennessee.

In Mississippi State’s first five games of 2019, Lewis has totaled 34 tackles, 16 of which have been solo tackles. At linebacker, Lewis fits the modern game. The question is consistency. For the Bulldogs to make their defensive presence felt, Lewis must be a centerpiece.

Against the Vols, Lewis should have his way. Despite playing on the road at Neyland Stadium, the Bulldogs will be ready. Look for Lewis to potentially lead the team in tackles for the second straight game and get to the quarterback.

As one of Mississippi State’s biggest strengths is at linebacker, the senior will be a problem for the Tennessee offense, ultimately forcing the issue. Lewis should be an immediate factor throughout.