Zach Mettenberger started the season with a great deal of buzz. He was thought to be the missing ingredient to the LSU Championship recipe, and with his strong arm, LSU had a complete team ready for domination.
Off-the-field distractions (Honey Badger) and lackluster performances in the first half of the season resulted in a diminished optimism that LSU had the championship quarterback they were looking for.
Strange scheduling, I believe, also didn’t help Mettenberger settle in as the confident quarterback and leader for this team. LSU scheduled 4 cupcakes and Auburn in their first five games of the season. Their first tough competition came against Florida mid-season! They, of course, lost this game. It’s the complete opposite of September 2011 where LSU played the toughest opening month of football in recent memory. LSU thrives on tough schedules and Mettenberger’s first sign that he was ready came against the No. 1 Crimson Tide.
Mett was sensational against the Tide – truly outplaying AJ McCarron for most of the game. 298 passing yards, 1 TD and no picks. His strong arm was on display for the nation.
Following up the emotional loss to Alabama, Mettenberger still brought his game against Mississippi State. 273 yards, 2 TD and no picks.
If you watched these games, you’ve seen Mettenberger make some sensational throws that only a few quarterbacks in the SEC can make.
Zach Mettenberger’s season stats:
|@ 7 Florida||11||25||44||158||0||1||89.09|
|12 South Carolina||12||25||48||148||0||1||89.73|
|@ 9 Texas A&M||11||29||37.9||97||1||0||77.41|
With two losses, LSU is all but out of the championship race in 2012, but LSU fans know they are ready to re-load for the 2013 season to make a run at the BCS. Next year, it could very well be Mettenberger’s arm that leads this team.
Les Miles was quoted as saying a few weeks ago that this LSU team wasn’t as good as last year’s, but that they could be better by the end of the season. Most assume much of what he was referring to was Mettenberger’s progression as the quarterback and leader of this team. If you watched LSU’s last two games, you’ve seen a glimpse of what Miles was talking about. LSU might just finish the season playing the best football in the entire country.
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE