Published August 31, 2012 - 2:25pm
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Conservative Les Miles?
Did you know last year LSU ran the ball 68 percent of the time? Oh, doesn’t seem like much to you? In comparison, Alabama and Georgia, much more balanced offenses, ran 57 to 58 percent of the time.
While Les Miles is a baller at taking risks on the football field, he wound down his risky-ness for a more conservative mindset a year ago.
Other than the studly defense filled with future NFL talent, that’s the exact stat on which I based my LSU prediction to win the SEC – 68 percent running team in ’11.
LSU new starter Zach Mettenberger is stepping into the perfect situation at LSU. He’s received the keys to a Ferarri and doesn’t even have his license yet.
Four of five return on the offensive line, along with two veteran receivers in Russell Shepard and Odell Beckham and a four-headed monster at running back – in which three rushed for more than 500 yards last season.
Mettenberger has a big arm and is your classic pocket passer. We’ve seen very little of him to this point, but he certainly looks the part.
“He’s always laid back, that’s how he has always been,” said sophomore wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “He’s one of those guys you look at and you know he’s got it.”
Mettenberger is now on his third college campus, after leaving Georgia for JUCO and transferring from JUCO to LSU.
There are enormous expectations building in Baton Rouge because fans are excited to see what this kid can do. Why? He gives LSU an advantage with his ability to stretch the field, leaving the offense with fewer eight-man looks in the box.
With North Texas looming this weekend, I would like to see offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa and QB coach Steve Kragthorpe let Mett throw it around early and often, before the game gets out of hand. We know what the running game can do. The passing game will look to be the difference between the ’11 and ’12 LSU Tigers.
Pac-12 foe Washington is coming to Tiger Stadium next week, and Mettenberger will have one game under his belt, hopefully with some confidence in the passing game and experience in passing situations to fall back on.