LSU Football: 5 Things Zach Mettenberger Must Do to Improve in 2013
Zach Mettenberger learned a lot in his first year as LSU's starting quarterback.
The strong-armed junior led the Tigers to a 10-2 record and showed great improvement as the year went on.
Next year will be a new beginning for Mettenberger and the Tigers. With one year of starting experience under his belt, LSU is looking for its quarterback to be one of the best in the SEC.
But what is it that Mettenberger needs to improve on to reach that elite level?
Let's go ahead and break down five things that Mettenberger must improve on in 2013.
Bleacher Report Style!
1. Rely on the Run Game
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Zach Mettenberger has a strong arm, make no doubt about it.
However, the Tigers' strength on the offensive side of the football is in the run game. If Mettenberger wants to be successful, he needs to trust that run game and use it to his advantage. In return, relying on the run will set up the pass game and make life much easier for Mettenberger.
Obviously, this has just as much if not more to do with the offensive play-calling then the actual play of Mettenberger, but LSU is at its best when they are running the football successfully.
If this kid can learn to play to his strengths and realize the run game is his best friend, then this could be an exceptional offense in 2013.
2. Cut Down on the Turnovers
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Zach Mettenberger had a good season, but it could have been great if he had cut down on the turnovers.
The Tigers' starting quarterback had several costly interceptions and fumbles this season. His 12-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio needs to improve in 2013.
In order for that to happen, Mettenberger simply has to make smarter decisions and not force as many balls into tight coverage.
If that can happen in 2013, this kid has the chance to be special.
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Zach Mettenberger is not a dual-threat quarterback; that is for certain.
But if Mettenberger is going to improve in 2013, he needs to learn to escape pressure better.
Just look at the numbers, and when you see that Mettenberger's high for rushing yards in a single game this season was seven, that right there should tell the story.
If Mettenberger can learn how to escape pressure, not take as many sacks and be somewhat elusive with his feet, then he should post some very impressive numbers in 2013.
4. Work with Receivers in the Offseason
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You've all heard about the stories of quarterbacks spending hours and days with their receivers throughout the offseason to work on timing and routes.
Zach Mettenberger needs to take note of that because he has two pretty special wide receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. If Mettenberger can improve on his timing with those two in the offseason, then this LSU passing game could be explosive in 2013.
That's not to mention all the young talent that this LSU team has at wide receiver as well. Names like Avery Johnson, Travin Dural, John Diarse and Quantavious Leslie all have the potential to be big-name receivers next season.
In order to do so, Mettenberger needs to make sure he works with all his receivers, and in return, he will see the rewards.
5. Play with Confidence
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Being a first-year starting quarterback in the SEC can be nerve-racking for anyone.
But now with a full year of experience under his belt, Zach Mettenberger should have the experience and confidence needed to take that next step.
There were times last year when Mettenberger seemed timid and uncertain. He seemed to lack confidence in big games.
Now, that shouldn't be an issue anymore.
This kid has all the talent in the world to be an elite SEC quarterback, and in order to do so, he just needs to play with some confidence.
Let's see that "swag," Zach.