Can Zach Mettenberger and Jeremy Hill Carry LSU Football in 2013?

By Mark Donatiello

Zach Mettenberger and Jeremy Hill will be the focal points of an LSU offense that will be without their best weapons from last year.  With questions surrounding the ability of the LSU football program to rebound with inexperienced backs and an unproven quarterback, Mettenberger and Hill will have to carry the load for the Tigers to contend in 2013.

The LSU defense has been the anchor behind the success of the football program over the last half decade.  Mediocre quarterback play from a young quarterback made one of the best defenses in college football very beatable.  The offense, quite simply, cannot struggle again next season.  The learning curve is over, and Mettenberger needs to be an elite college player.  Jeremy Hill, stepping in for the departed Michael Ford and Spencer Ware, will have big shoes to fill if the Tigers are going to be successful.

Hill had a splendid freshman season.  He averaged nearly six yards per carry, producing 12 touchdowns and 755 yards as part of a rotation of experienced and talented running backs.  Hill was the most dynamic of LSU’s options, and saw more action than his teammates.  This year, however, he may be without the safety net of other capable backs to help shoulder the load.  Jeremy Hill will need to prove he can be “the man” for LSU, but after a highly successful season that’s not much of a leap.

Mettenberger struggled last year, but the junior showed promise.  He had a poor ratio of touchdowns to interceptions, completed less than 60% of his passes, and threw for just 2,609 yards.  He benefited from a strong rushing attack, but his performance will likely dictate the success of the Tigers next year.  If Mettenberger can blossom into the quarterback most think he is, LSU will be a force in the SEC again.

With Hill stepping in as the unquestioned lead back and Mettenberger entering his second full season as the starter, the LSU offense will need to prove they won’t hold back the program any longer.

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