When defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo elected to transfer from Missouri to LSU, he likely expected to have a massive role at some point during the regular season. That point will come Saturday night in the Tigers’ home opener against Southern.

LSU coach Brian Kelly officially named Wingo the team’s new starter in place of Maason Smith. Smith will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in the team’s loss to Florida State on Sunday.

Wingo, a native of St. Louis, filled in last week for Smith starting on the Tigers’ second drive. He finished with 6 total tackles and add pressure up the middle against FSU quarterback Jordan Travis. His breakout moment came in the 4th quarter when Seminoles running back Treshaun Ward fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, leading to a recovery by the Tigers’ defense.

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels would captivate a 2-min drive, leading the Tigers 99 yards before finding wide receiver Jaray Jenkins for a 2-yard touchdown as time expired. The game was expected to head to overtime, but Damian Ramos’ PAT was blocked by FSU’s front 7.

In his lone season at Mizzou, Wingo recorded 27 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack.  Kickoff from Tiger Stadium against the Jaguars is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.