LSU QB Zac Mettenberger progressing well as Tigers prepare for Gators
LSU quarterback Zac Mettenberger will be making just his sixth start when the Tigers play the Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon, but Tigers coach Les Miles said he's pleased with Mettenberger's progress so far.
Mettenberger has completed 65.5 percent of his passes (78-of-119) for 1,016 yards, and has six TDs and just two interceptions. Miles said his concern with Mettenberger right now is his penchant for trying to extend plays beyond what is feasible.
"I think our quarterback play is by and large very good,'' Miles said. "The things that he tries to do by extending the play put him in jeopardy. In some days you see those quarterbacks that run out of the pocket and make a big play. That frankly is not something we are looking for from him. We're really not looking to extend the play much. We would like to get it out of his hands. We are coaching that. It is coming.''
Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said Mettenberger gives the Tigers a much different look than what the Gators saw in LSU last season.
"I think probably the biggest difference is where they're taking some shots down the field,'' Quinn said. "I think there was probably about 20 plays that were over 20 yards, something along those lines. There were some big "shot plays" down the field. Any time you play teams that are really effective running the ball, as you guys know, sometimes, people will try and bring an extra safety down and they're gonna try and take some shots to open things up. You know, with the ability of this guy in terms of his ability to throw it, I think that's some of the things you see. Some down field throws maybe that you might've saw a little more, than maybe where Jefferson was a little bit more zone read. I'm not saying he didn't throw it, but a little —certainly a different style of quarterback, you know, than they had from last season."
For Miles, his QB's progress is right on schedule and what LSU needs.
"I like Zach and I think his effort and energy is good for this team,'' Miles sasid. I think he will continue to improve. Just remember that he has not really started in major college football before. Now he is onto a nice start, and some things are out of the way. Let's get to the veteran play as we move toward the back end of the year. It is very likely that he will play better and better each week.''