Towson vs. LSU: This Is Where Les Miles Needs to Turn QB Zach Mettenberger Loose

T.J. McaloonContributorSeptember 29, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after throwing a touchdown against the Idaho Vandals at Tiger Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

LSU coach Les Miles can reassure an anxious fanbase this week by focusing his game plan against Towson on quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

The Tigers scared their fans last week when they struggled offensively in a 12-10 win over Auburn. Mettenberger’s fumbles and inconsistent play against an SEC defense didn’t help ease any criticism thrown at him. 

However, according, Miles came to the defense of the first-year starter at his weekly press conference, saying:

He has to recognize with that ball when there's pressure in the pocket he's got to get it out of his hands. We're working on that. It's not him by himself. It's offensive line, the backs, the play calls. We're addressing the issue.

"The first fumble was not the quarterback's mistake," Miles added later. He indicated it was a communication problem involving the snap cadence.

That is why this week against a Towson team that has yet to play a BCS school is the best time to let the LSU offense air it out.

Already this year, Tigers fans have seen glimpses of what Mettenberger can do. 

He’s put up impressive completion percentages against North Texas (73.1), Washington (66.7) and Idaho (77.3). 

However, in those three games, LSU has limited Mettenberger’s pass attempts to no more than 26.

Despite that, Mettenberger has thrown for progressively more yards in each of his starts, going from 192, to 195, to a season-high 222. Plus, Mettenberger has improved his quarterback rating from 140.1,  to 176, to a season-high 182.9.

LSU receiver Jarvis Landry told that the goal this week is to get Mettenberger rolling.

Get Zach a rhythm coming into this hard, tough SEC stretch ... making him feel comfortable with us, making the coaching staff feel comfortable with us, so if the run does fail, then we can beat teams through the air.

The Tigers have to focus the offense on Mettenberger or else they will fall back into the one-dimensional attack that killed them in the BCS national championship game last year. 

This week against Towson, the LSU offense must show no mercy and let the passing attack run wild.