LSU Spring Game 2012: QB Zach Mettenberger Shows He Can Lead in 2012

Jeff Chase@@Real_Jeff_ChaseSenior Analyst IIMarch 31, 2012

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 19: Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers looks to the sideline against the Ole Miss Rebels on November 19, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. LSU beat Mississippi 52-3. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

It is never easy to lose both of your starting quarterbacks following a 13-1 season, but if the LSU Tigers' spring game proved anything, it is that the team looks to be fine in the hands of junior QB Zach Mettenberger.

The Tigers were likely concerned at first when both quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson had to depart following their senior seasons, but things look a little better now that Mettenberger looked solid against the Tigers' defense.

In the team's spring game, Mettenberger showed the Tiger faithful that he can get the job done, as he threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-25 attempts.

Both TDs came in the second quarter of action, as the junior found Odell Beckham and Russell Shepard in the end zone.

Of course, this game was just a practice, so it doesn't stand to be much compared to regular competition. The positive is that Mettenberger looked good, and that's what fans and coaches want to see after coming off of a really strong year.

It will remain to be seen how he will fare during the regular season, but fans can at least rest somewhat easier now that they have gotten an idea of what their new man under center looks like.

Mettenberger appeared in two games this past season, but only once was he actually passing. That was in the team's blowout 49-3 victory over Northwestern State in Week 2. 

In that game, the then sophomore quarterback completed 8-of-11 passes for 92 yards and a score. Not too bad for a third stringer, but he will have to show that he can produce similar numbers against tougher competition.

Coach Les Miles believes in his new quarterback, telling USA Today's Glenn Guillbeau,

"He's a big tall thrower, and it appears to me that he ran the offense at the junior college level very, very well and has leadership."

The Tigers obviously want to keep things rolling after their strong 2011 season, and for now it looks like their offense may just pick up right where it left off.


Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.