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April 9, 2011

Thoughts on LSU's Spring Game

After watching LSU's Spring Football game, I am confident about four things: 1.Spencer Ware is superman; 2. Jakhari Gore and Alfred Blue are good running backs; 3. LSU has a quarterback; and LSU's Defense may be even better than last year.

Spencer Ware is superman.
One star emerged from LSU's spring game:  running back Spencer Ware.  Ware ran for 94 yards on 13 carries, had 2 catches for 50 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.  Ware played last year as a true freshman but, he looks leaner, faster and more agile this year.  Maybe he has incorporated more stretching exercises into his workouts.  Whatever he has done, it may not matter whether LSU has improved quarterback play because I think our running game may be able to carry the offense.  If Ware gets tired and needs a breather:

Jakhari Gore and Alfred Blue are good running backs.
Combined Gore and Blue combined for just over 100 yards total.  Gore rushed for 53 yards and Blue rushed for 48 yards.  If my count is right I don't think either Gore or Blue had more than 10 rushing attempts each so, the the yards per carry were not too shabby.  When running backs Hilliard and Ford are thrown into the mix during the regular season, LSU should have one of the deepest backfields in the country.  With that many very good running backs LSU should alway have a running threat no matter how worn out any one back gets during the course of a game. I think Tiger fans were hoping to see seriously improved quarterback play during the Spring game.  Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee looked almost exactly like the same guys that led the Tigers to one of the worst passing offenses in the nation last year with maybe a tiny bit of improvement (but that is probably just wishful thinking on my part).  The good news is that . . .

LSU has a quarterback!
When Zach Mettenberger trotted out onto the field for the first time a cheer erupted from the 25,000 fans gathered inside Tiger Stadium to watch the Spring game.  Mettenberger did not disappoint.  The first couple of passes he threw were deadly accurate.  On TV Mettenberger is the accurate passer, quick decision maker that LSU has been looking for since Ryan Perrilloux was kicked off the team.  Mettenberger threw well, ran fairly well on at least one occasion, and threw two pinpoint long range touchdowns in the end zone.  The first touchdown was dropped with a lot of help from DB Tharold Simon on a Patrick Peterson like play but on the first play of the second half Mettenberger connected on a 60 yard touchdown pass to back up wide receiver Kadron Boone. While LSU has great depth at wide receiver, Mettenberger should be throwing to the starters.  Mettenberger would have even looked better but the play calling on a couple of the series that he was QB followed this script: "handoff to a running back into the most dense pack of defenders - repeat that play again - and then see if Met can bail out the offense on 3rd and way too long."  The good news is that LSU has a quarterback - Zach Mettenberger.  The bad news, it doesn't look like the LSU coaching staff is willing to admit that clear fact.  When you lead your team to the 107th "best" passing offense in the country, you have not "earned" your place at the helm.  I really like that both Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are hard workers, solid athletes, and men of good character but football is a competitive game and you play the guys that can best help the team win.  In the Spring Game, Mettenberger was the only quarterback not to turn the ball over.  Both Jefferson and Lee had the ball knocked out of their hands for a fumble and if my memory is correct I believe that both threw an interception and struggled in the red zone.  It is time to bump Mettenberger up to first string.  Even if that does not happen, LSU is still a top contender for the National Championship because -

LSU's Defense may be even better than last year.
During the Spring game LSU sat out a number of defensive all stars like Ryan Baker, Karnell Hatcher and Sam Montgomery.  Also Tyrann Mathieu was taken out of the game early.  As a side note, it looked like Mathieu and wide receiver Rueben Randle got a bit shaken up early in the game.  Randle went ahead and played through it but did not perform up to the level that he ought to during the regular season.  Tharold Simon jumped in at corner back and may be LSU's next shutdown corner.  True Freshman Anthony Johnson and sophomore Michael Brockers  looked solid on the inside of the defensive line.  During the Spring game the defense was not allowed to blitz but that did not stop the defense from forcing two fumbles in the backfield.  The defense looked really really solid.  

It also looks like that LSU should have more kickoffs that land in the end zone, punts that are downed inside the 10 yard line, and pretty solid field goal kicking despite the fact that Drew Alleman missed one of the four field goal attempts today.

If LSU maintains what we saw in the Spring game and concentrates QB development on Zach Mettenberger, the BCS National Championship may be  a real possibility.  Several of us are starting to look for tickets to see the Tigers and Ducks tangle in Jerry World.  


Anonymous said...

Bob, thank you so much. You have written the most accurate assessment of our spring game yet. All other writers are praising Jefferson's performance. I felt like Miles played this "game" with the sole purpose of padding Jordan's ego. While increased confidence may help the guy, setting him up for failure by seeming to tell the defense to go easy on him is a horrible way to try and help a SEC quarterback. He looked guys down, got nervous and ran, and really looked shoddy on his last series in the red zone.

I too was blown away by Zach being so decisive with the ball. He gets rid of the it 2 seconds faster than Jordan. Being so used to Jefferson, I was damn-near confused as to how a quarterback could react so quickly and effectively. He gives his receivers chances to go up and get the ball. Throw Zach's first-series bomb to Reuben Randle and let's see who comes down with it; I'm betting on the 6'2" guy.

Bob, please keep writing about LSU football because fellow Tiger fans deserve to hear accurate reports and not a bunch of hot air that will blow up in our faces come regulation.

Thanks and Sincerely,


Anonymous said...


I agree with everything you said, but what about the O-Line? I think they are the best group we've had since 2003, because they have some depth.

They went against a better defense than any they will face in the regular season.

Although, it goes against his record I believe that Zach will be the starter pretty quickly - maybe not against Oregon, but maybe by the second quarter against Oregon.


Anonymous said...

Wow..This Spring LSU football game was like watching a very fast, powerful, race horse, biting at a restraining bit- wanting to be released…Good college football players everywhere..I liked what I saw…Big fast strong football players…Wearing our teams Purple or Gold…Really great.
I know now that Bob's Sports Blog does not know the difference..."Wow'is the word to say,just how blind you are with eyes to see with.

Anonymous said...

Did you even read the article, race horse guy?! Bob only had good things to say except for the lame Sr. QBs. Jefferson may be a fine athlete but we need a QB that can execute like Mettenberger. Bob's Right On Target!

Texas Tiger said...

I am in the minority I guess, but I believe Jordan Jefferson will be a good quarterback in 2011. You guys have completely overlooked the fact that JJ had an injured thumb ON HIS PASSING HAND! Don't you realize how critical that is? The first few series, I don't think the thumb was bothering him, but later it seemed pretty obvious it was affecting him. Give the guy some slack ... he isn't perfect, but he is a very capable athletic quarterback that can lead this team. This time he will have some decent coaching too. Don't get me wrong, I am very glad Zach is here, but he has to get some SEC game day experience. As for Jarrett Lee, well, he looked like the same Jarrett Lee we have seen for 3 years ... throws some good passes ... then falls into his same old bad habits.

All in all, this team is absolutely loaded. It should be a great season in 2011!

Geaux Tigers!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised by this Bob's Blog telling his readers.Because JJ missed half of his passes,with a sore thumb.To throw the bum out,for the new QB as quickly as possible.
Shame on you people,turning on your LSU players & friends like that.With friends like Bob's Blog.Who needs enemies!

Anonymous said...

Over the last year Bob has been the eternal optimist when it comes to JJ but I guess he has finally seen the facts for what they are. JJ is not an SEC caliber QB. Watching Zach play made that oh so obvious. Good call Bob!

Anonymous said...

Kurt Warner hurt his throwing thumb and went from Super Bowl MVP to second rate. I don't think Jefferson has that far to fall. Why did we recruit Mettenberger in the first place, if we're not going to play the guy. He is clearly the better QB. You can't go by what the other news sources are saying because all of LSUs Spring practices and other scrimmages have been closed to the public. The only opportunity we have to make a call is based on what we saw in the Spring game and it Jefferson and Lee stunk up the place. Mettenberger was 5 for 8 and nearly had two TDs and no turnovers. Who cares how they practice? I want players that can perform in a game. Good call Bob.

Anonymous said...

JJ is ahead of the other LSU Quarterbacks because Les Miles Said so.
Do you pore people really think that you know better then the LSU head coach.
"No one is so blind as he who will not see". Bob's Blog should try to be more objective,then personal.And leave coaching the LSU football team,to head coach Les Miles.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:40 is right.Bob's Blog is all wrong.With a lot of personal bull talk.JJ is playing better,who cares what Bob think.
Forget about Bob's Blog and do something else.

Anonymous said...

So do we just ignore the facts about the QBs or do we ignore the fact that he said Spencer Ware, J.Gore, A Blue and the Defense are great? Or do we also think Bob is wrong about LSU having a better team this year?!

Anonymous said...

Bob supported Miles at the beginning of last year when you guys were calling for his head. Don't forget that -

Anonymous said...

If I was JJ.I would kick Bob's Blog back into the mean street-that he is talking from..The bum.

Anonymous said...

OK, so Bob is mean for pointing out that LSU now has a QB that does not turn the ball over and can complete passes for TDs. Bob deserves a medal.

Anonymous said...

"the BCS National Championship may be a real possibility." BOB

Yeah, Bob is a REGULAR nattering, nabob of negativism.

Real Tiger fans know that LSU will win the BCS championship,the Super Bowl, all six Nobel Prizes, the World Chess Championship, and the Sripps Howard Spelling Bee!

The only one I'm worried about is the spelling bee:0


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