After watching its offense sputter at times throughout the past three years, there are plenty of reasons to suspect that the LSU Tigers will have trouble moving the chains this fall. However, with the addition of veteran coordinator Cam Cameron, the Bayou Bengal offense will be one of the most improved in the SEC this season.
Although many fans will remember him because of his unceremonious dismissal from the Baltimore Ravens during Week 14, Cameron is one of the brightest offensive minds in the game today. After all, he transformed the Indiana Hoosiers from a team that simply couldn’t move the ball (291 yards per game in 1996) into an offensive juggernaut (435 yards per contest in 2001). His teams made considerable strides in the running game, averaging over five yards per carry during his final two seasons in Bloomington.
However, Cameron is more than just an X’s and O’s guy: he’s also an excellent teacher. During his 30-year coaching career, he’s developed a number of top-flight signal callers, including Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Jim Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. He’s also done well with dual threat quarterbacks, helping Antwaan Randle El become the first college player to throw and rush for 40 career TDs.
Despite this impressive track record, some people still questioned whether Cameron was the right man for the job.
The results of the first two scrimmages ought to silence most of these critics for a while. Zach Mettenberger has played like a completely different QB, completing 41 of 65 passes for 447 yards and 3 TDs. The running game has been equally effective, rolling up 420 yards rushing while playing mostly against the first-team defense.
Even though these scrimmages are “just practice”, those who bleed purple and gold have to be pleased with what they’ve seen from Cameron so far. Provided that he can help the entire offense — especially Mettenberger — continue to improve, there’s no reason to believe that the Tigers can’t finish in the Top 30 in total offense this season.
When was the last time LSU accomplished that feat?
Back in 2007, when it won the national championship.