LSU Football: Why Zach Mettenberger Will Be the SEC's Top QB
Zach Mettenberger will be the best quarterback in the SEC in 2012.
Allow me to put my psychic hat on for a minute and predict Mettenberger's season. My crystal ball is telling me that though there will be bumps along the way, Mettenberger will have a stellar year and make First Team All-SEC.
The boldness of making such a claim when Mettenberger has yet to even take a snap as a Tiger should bring about a range of emotions from fans. There's reason to doubt, because he has yet to prove himself as a college quarterback in the greatest conference in all of college football, the SEC.
But as bold as these words are, Mettenberger will rise to the occasion and live up to his potential this fall. Why?
Well. for the first time since Matt Flynn led the Tigers to a national championship in 2007, LSU will be led by a pro-style quarterback.
Mettenberger is a 6'5" quarterback with an accurate delivery, and I'd go as far as saying that he has the strongest arm in the league. With the flick of the wrist, Mettenberger can launch a deep ball, and this will provide for many big plays for the Tigers considering their dominant run game.
He showed off his strong arm in the spring game, where he had a 54-yard pass to Jarvis Landry and a 49-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr., and Mettenberger finished the game with 270 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
If his performance is any indication as to what kind of season he will have, he will light up scoreboards. Obviously, the two interceptions wasn't pleasing to watch, but as he gains more experience, he should limit the mistakes.
Already Established Running Game
Furthermore, opposing teams will have to decide if they want to stop LSU's passing game or rushing game. Defenses around the league that load the box against the Tigers will be torched with Mettenberger's accurate deep ball.
And for those that choose to play their safeties deep against the Tigers will be trampled by the Tigers' running game.
The Tigers return four starting offensive linemen and four running backs with an incredible amount of experience. After all, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue, Kenny Hilliard and Terrence Magee combined for 2,338 yards and 30 touchdowns a year ago.
It's basically like picking your poison playing these Tigers, and Mettenberger will benefit greatly from this.
Speed on the Outside
Each and every year, speed is proven to be the X-factor in college football. Speed is what keeps the Oregon Ducks in control of the Pac 12, and it's what allows the SEC to be the most dominant conference in football.
Having said that, it's the speed of the LSU Tigers wide receivers that will keep this offense rolling. Beckham, Landry and Russell Shepard lack size, but they make up for it with their speed.
Going one-on-one with these receivers is a dice that teams will roll often, and more often than not, Mettenberger and the offense will cash in on that gamble.
Play action ought to be a big part of this offense considering the plethora of backs and strong arm of Mettenberger, and if a cornerback makes any hesitation, you better believe the speed of these wide receivers will be showcased.
Mettenberger might not be the most talented quarterback in the SEC considering the fact that Tyler Wilson, Aaron Murray and A.J. McCarron all play in the conference, but he has better weapons.
His supporting cast will allow him to post bigger numbers and take the league by storm. His offensive line will give him plenty of time to make decisions, his wide receivers have the skills required to get open and his running backs will take a lot of the pressure off him.
Mettenberger is poised for a breakout season, and it wouldn't come as a surprise to see him throw for over 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2012.
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