LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was interviewed for ESPN's all-access Tuesday in LSU's players' lounge, an appropriate place considering the approach he's trying to take to this week's pressure-packed game against Alabama.
"As Coach [Les] Miles would say, leave the outside perimeter on the outside," Mettenberger said. "All we can do offensively is show up every day ready to work. For me, I just have to get mentally prepared for every game and with this being such a big game, I have to be ready for anything to happen."
Plenty has happened for Mettenberger this year, not all of it good. He comes into the Alabama game 12th in the SEC in pass efficiency, ahead of just two other SEC starters, Auburn's Kiehl Frazier and Missouri's James Franklin. It's led to criticism of the LSU junior quarterback as the weakness for an otherwise dominant team. The Tigers are among the SEC leaders in rushing and most defensive categories.
But the one area in which Alabama will have a decided edge Saturday is the passing game -- where AJ McCarron has thrown 18 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Mettenberger has thrown seven TDs and four interceptions. He has thrown just one SEC touchdown, a TD pass to Kadron Boone in LSU's 24-19 win at Texas A&M that proved crucial. He'll likely need to make more of those throws Saturday against a Crimson Tide defense that will likely be committed to stopping the run.
"Hopefully this week I can make a couple of big plays," he said.