SEC Football Q&A: Is LSU Capable of Turning Around Its Offensive Woes?

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterOctober 25, 2012

LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
LSU QB Zach MettenbergerRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Reportinbox, Twitter and email. 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at


You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. And if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.

And we're off:

@barrettsallee has LSU been ultra-conservative on offense this season, or see they just not what we thought they were?

— Kevin Paul (@KevinJPaul) October 25, 2012

Probably a little bit of both.

It seems like every quarterback that steps foot on LSU's campus immediately loses four stars. There's no question that Zach Mettenberger has been disappointing this season, considering he was touted as being the first quarterback in years at LSU who can stretch the field.

Instead, he has been erratic at best, sloppy at worst and currently ranks 11th in the SEC in yards per attempt (7.2) and passer rating (124.4).


What LSU does have going for it is the fact that, for the most part, the ground-and-pound plan has worked more times than not over the last few years.

Sure, the Tigers failed on the game's biggest stage in the BCS National Championship Game at the end of last season and couldn't get things going on the road at Florida earlier this month. But they've made a living in the top 10 over the last few years, so there are worse problems to have.

If you don't believe me, ask Auburn.

Mettenberger is going to have to open things up at some point, and LSU has done a disservice to itself by not allowing him to do so sooner. But ultra-conservative works for the most part, and LSU will continue to prove it.


@barrettsallee Can Miss State knock off Alabama or is this the start of State's fall from hype?

— Andy M. Johnson (@GeorgiaGunOwner) October 22, 2012

Probably the latter.

These two teams are essentially mirror images of each other. They both have gotten fat this season off of some inferior competition, take care of the football and have marvelously efficient passing games that don't put their defenses in bad situations.

Something has got to give.

Alabama's talent and coaching is better across the board; and since this game is in Tuscaloosa, I give Alabama the edge.

Mississippi State will stay in the game, but Alabama's depth will allow the Crimson Tide to pull away in the second half en route to a win that will look much closer than the final score indicates.

Does that mean that Mississippi State is all sizzle and no steak?

Not necessarily.

The Bulldogs are a mystery, and a loss to Alabama probably won't change that. How they respond in the coming weeks versus Texas A&M and LSU will be much more of an indicator of where the Mississippi State program is rather than the 60 minutes played at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night.


@barrettsallee should UGA lose this weekend....Who will take the blame?CMR?Bobo?Defensive backfield?

— Ben Lincoln (@AtlBrutus) October 25, 2012

That depends on how the game plays out.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is a lightning rod for criticism from Bulldog Nation, so if Florida shuts down his offense, then he will likely be the scapegoat.

Barring a complete beat down, I can't see how Mark Richt will take a ton of heat for a loss. His hot seat has cooled tremendously since the start of the 2011 season, and even though there is some frustration with the glass ceiling that exists in Athens, he still gets the job done more times than not.

If the defense struggles this weekend, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham could get some blame as well. Florida is viewed as a team that's incredibly one-dimensional, even though quarterback Jeff Driskel hasn't been asked to show that other dimension yet.

Georgia's defense currently ranks ninth in the SEC in total defense (367.4 YPG), and if it gets lit up by Florida, it could signal the start of an alarming trend.