Those who know college football say that the most improvement happens from week one to week two. That makes sense because a team gets its first chance to play against another team and not just to scrimmage each other as is done in the spring and in fall practice.
The Tigers now have 1st game mistakes out of the way and are more accustomed to playing at real game speed. Zach Mettenberger got his feet wet against North Texas last Saturday in his first start as a division 1 college football quarterback and first start as a tiger. Several newcomers like Deion Jones, Kwon Alexander, Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins saw their first view of tiger stadium as well. I look to see tremendous improvement from the veterans and the newcomers this week against a pass happy Washington husky team. The defensive backs both the veterans and the young freshman will be tested early and often. Improvement in the offensive line, quarterback play, defensive line, and linebackers should be clear.
The Washington huskies (1-0, 0-0 PAC 12) were less than impressive in their opener against San Diego State. Junior quarterback Keith Price threw for 213 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions last week in the huskies 21-12 victory. Price has also thrown for 3,440 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in his career. Sophomore wide receiver Kasen Williams led the huskies in receiving yards with 6 catches for 75 yards and 1 touchdown while sophomore tight end Austin Seferian Jenkins caught 8 passes for 73 yards. Sophomore running back Bishop Sankey gained 66 yards on 22 carries and had 1 touchdown.
The real hero for LSU’s opening contest against North Texas was the tiger running backs. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue broke the 100 yard mark in a season opening victory at tiger stadium Saturday night. Hilliard ran for 141 yards on 13 carries an average of almost 11 yards per carry while Alfred Blue contributed 123 yards on 16 carries nearly 8 yards per carry.
Zach Mettenberger’s debut was not super exciting but he certainly showed he could lead the offense and showed some heart in coming back from a vicious blind side sack in the first quarter. He did complete 19 of 26 passes for 192 yard and one touchdown to Kadron Boone.
The tigers finished with 508 yards total offense.
“We rushed for 300 and threw for close to 200 yards,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Not too bad. We put 40 points on a team. It was kind of like offense, defense, and special teams had an opportunity to play dominant at times, but really had some sloppy plays.”
Yes it’s finally here! Gameday is at last upon us! LSU QB Zach Mettenberger in his fourth year of college will make his first start for the tigers as the #3 ranked team in the nation will line up against the North Texas Mean Green.
Hurricane Isaac tried to create havoc throughout south Louisiana but it couldn’t mess with the original plan for the tigers to open up the 2012 season in death valley tonight at 6 pm. The tailgating and campus events should all go on as planned and after 4 days of preparing for the worst we are preparing for the good times.
This should be a good environment for a new LSU quarterback starting his first game as the mean green are huge underdogs to the tigers tonight. It’s been almost eight months since the tigers fell to the tide in New Orleans and the entire team is ready to get this season started.
The tigers open the 2012 season against a highly undermanned North Texas team. The tiger defensive backs specifically Jalen Mills, Jalen Collins, and Micah Eugene should benefit from facing the mean green’s junior quarterback Derek Thompson who threw for 1,759 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions during his 2011 campaign.
The mean green are a veteran squad who finished the 2011 season at 4-4 in the Sun Belt Conference and 5-7 overall a year ago. North Texas lost a key piece to their offense when running back Lance Dunbar went to the Dallas Cowboys and senior running back James Hamilton graduated. The two combined for over 1,500 yards rushing. They are looking for a replacement that could possibly come from a combination of junior Brandin Byrd and senior Jeremy Brown.
The wide receivers are led by junior Brelan Chancellor who had 37 receptions in 2011 and averaged 12.4 yards per reception. He will also receive help from seniors Christopher Bynes, Ivan Delgado, and Andrew Power.
North Texas averaged 24.8 points per game and opponents averaged 30.7 points per game during the 2011 season. The mean green offense finished the 2011 season 87th overall in passing yards, 66th overall in rushing yards, 76th in points for, and 88th in points scored against them.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the 2012 LSU football team lies with a new offense which aims to be much more 2 dimensional than last years. That argument begins at quarterback with Zach Mettenberger. Zach originally signed with the University of Georgia in 2009 but was booted out of Athens after an infamous bar incident. He then played a year of Junior college ball at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas before transferring to LSU. When Zach was coming out of high school at Oconee County High in Watkinsville, Georgia he was rated as the #11 ranked pro style quarterback in the country. When he left Butler he was rated as the #1 junior college quarterback in the country. Zach has no experience as a tiger other than some mop up duty situations but the expectations are sky high especially because of an impressive performance in the spring football game and word of mouth from practice reports.