Roughly 33,000 were in attendance at Tiger Stadium Saturday to take in the start of another year of LSU football that, yet again, carries high expectations and BCS championship aspirations.
That part hasn’t changed. What has is a key component to LSU’s offense that was noticeably absent in a 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game.
The Tigers have struggled with quarterback play basically since the departure of Matt Flynn after the 2007 season, but Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson are gone and former Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger is in. And if Saturday’s spring game was any indication of the future, there could be a collective sigh of relief coming out of Louisiana.
Mettenberger posted a 14-for-25 day, throwing for 270 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions — although one was a result of a tipped pass that was returned for a touchdown — during the Purple-White game (a 24-17 win by the White team).
Additionally, Stephen Rivers, younger brother of San Diego Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, went 6-of-17 for 75 yards.
Mettenberger’s favorite target was sophomore Jarvis Landry, who reeled in six catches for 120 yards. Odell Beckham had three grabs of his own for 115 yards and a touchdown as well. The leading rushers in the game were Alfred Blue (nine carries for 73 yards), Kenny Hilliard (eight carries for 40 yards) and Spencer Ware (eight carries, 51 yards).
LSU is known to have good defense, but picking up the offensive production could help launch the Tigers into the SEC West throne this year. Although LSU has to go on the road to Arkansas, they do get Alabama at home. If Mettenberger can improve the passing game with his group of talented receivers, there’s no reason to think LSU won’t be in contention for another division, conference and BCS title.
It’s still spring, but there’s a lot to feel good about if you’re Les Miles and company.