LSU Football: What Les Miles, Tigers Must Fix During Their Bye Week

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers throws against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 20, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

College football's most anticipated game of the 2012 season is just under two weeks away, and in the week leading up to their matchup against No.1-ranked Alabama, the LSU Tigers have the luxury of a bye week.

Les Miles and his coaching staff will use this bye week to work on the little things that need to change if the Tigers are going to take down the Crimson Tide again this season.

Remember, last season, LSU defeated Alabama in what was considered to be "The Game of the Century" heading into the contest. After the final score read 9-6 in LSU's favor, many college football fans would argue that it was the most boring football game they had ever watched.

But for those that love defense, that was an exceptional game, and you can expect much the same when the two teams square off on Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge.

Alabama has looked indestructible through seven games this season. The Tide sport a 7-0 record and have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 287-58.

The defense has been exceptional thus far, not allowing a single opponent to score more than 14 points in a game. But as good as this defense has been, it's the offense that has everyone talking.

Alabama, known for being a traditional run-first team, is averaging 41 points per game this season. Nick Saban's team has scored at least 33 or more points in every game and has topped 40 points in all but two games this year.

So now, we ask, how can this LSU team win this football game?

Well for starters, the Tigers must work on cutting down the turnovers. Les Miles' team has done a great job with this as of late, only committing one turnover over the past two games.

But before that, LSU committed 11 turnovers in its first six games of the season. The main culprit of those turnovers has been first-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who has been bitten by both the interception and fumble bug this season.

If LSU is going to beat Alabama, the Tigers can not turn the ball over. A team like Alabama, who is so strong on both ends of the ball, will make LSU pay and take advantage of those turnovers.

The second thing that this LSU team must fix during the bye week is their offensive play calling. This isn't to say that LSU's play calling has been poor this season, because really, it's been solid for the most part.

But if LSU is going to beat Alabama, this team is going to have to take some risks. Those risks are going to have to come on the offensive side of the football.

Everyone knows that LSU relies on that solid rushing attack to win football games, but it can't be that one-dimensional against a defense like Alabama's, it just won't work. The coaching staff is going to have to take some chances airing it out deep, mixing in some trick plays, running some reverses with wide receivers, anything along those lines.

The Crimson Tide defense is fast, they are strong and they are well-coached. We all saw what happened last in last year's BCS National Championship Game when Alabama's defense smothered the Tigers' one-dimensional offense.

We have heard all season long just how good Zach Mettenberger's arm is and how great he can be throwing the ball if given the chance. Well, here is the chance, because if Mettenberger dosen't take some risks downfield and attempt to air it out at least a few times, LSU will struggle mightily against this Alabama defense.

If LSU can find a way to cut down the turnovers and mix up the offensive play calling, then it's hard not to like Tigers' chances in this one, especially with that home crowd behind them.

But those are two big adjustments to make. Les Miles and this LSU staff caught a lot of heat after last year's BCS National Championship dud. Let's see what type of adjustments this staff makes in this year's matchup.

Having a bye week will certainly help with that.