No matter how you slice it, LSU’s passing game has been a disappointment this season.
The Tigers are 12th in the SEC in passing offense. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger is 12th in the league in passing efficiency, and his receivers have been plagued by dropped passes.
With a bye this week and No. 1 Alabama coming to town in two weeks, LSU coach Les Miles said there’s no question the Tigers need to be better at throwing the football. He said it’s unfair to put all of the blame on Mettenberger and has seen some growth in his first-year starter.
“I see him coming. I see him progressing, and he was smarter with the ball in the (Texas A&M) game more than he was in the past,” Miles said. “We expect him to continue to develop. One thing about it is that it’s his first year starting, the first time he’s played in a series of games in a row and the first time he’s lined up in Tiger Stadium again and again and again. There’s some growth there.”
That said, Miles said it’s going to be imperative the rest of the way that the Tigers connect on more big plays in the passing game. He said that will be an emphasis this week in practice.
“We threw some deep balls in the A&M game and didn’t hit them,” Miles said. “If we’re going to progress, it can’t be a short commitment to it. If we hit three deep balls in that game, that game is a completely different game. We recognize that and will continue to coach it.”
Mettenberger finished 11-of-29 with just 97 passing yards against Texas A&M. He did throw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Kadron Boone to put the Tigers ahead for good. It’s the only touchdown pass Mettenberger has thrown against an SEC opponent this season.
In the Tigers’ four SEC games, Mettenberger has yet to pass for more than 169 yards.