The No. 6 LSU Tigers are preparing to face No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.
By JENNIFER HALEFS Southwest
The No. 6
LSU Tigers face their toughest challenge yet this Saturday when they travel to Georgia to test themselves against the Bulldogs, now ranked 9th in the country.
This top 10 face off will be a good measuring stick for the Tigers to grade just how much their offense has actually improved.
Expectations are high, as this is the first time in LSU football history the Tigers have registered over 400 yards of total offense in each of the first 4 games of the season.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who originally signed with Georgia but never played there, is coming into his own.
Coach Les Miles likes the senior's maturity.
"I think Zach is really doing what we ask of him and need not get impatient," Miles said. "At certain times, we're not going to throw the ball down the field, certain times the read is going to keep you underneath. We felt like he handled it and had poise during that stretch when we were looking at rain as an opponent as well."
This season's LSU offense is the second most prolific in school history, tallying 1,921 yards so far, which ranks only behind the 1977 team.
Running back Jeremy Hill is a big reason why.
Monday, he collected SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his career-high 184 yards against Auburn, along with 25 carries, 3 touchdowns and a 7.4 yards-per-carry average.
"Practice and conditioning and really just what would be our normal practice regimen for him has allowed him to regain speed," Miles said. "He understand the cuts and return to form, if you will."
Miles has family ties to Georgia. His niece attends school there, and Miles does plan to see her during the trip. Meanwhile his daughter Macy has struck up a friendship of sorts with Georgia's head coach Mark Richt.
"At the SEC meetings, Macy just happened to go over by where the T-shirts were being handed out to the coaches and made an acquaintance with Mark Richt," Miles said with a smile. "She came back after talking to him and said, 'Gee, Daddy, he's a really nice guy. Do you play them?' So I have to keep an eye on her this week. I want to make sure she's not mailing Coach Richt our game plans."
Meanwhile, Richt is dealing with his own LSU connection: Mettenberger's mother is an administrative assistant at Georgia. Richt is giving Tammy Mettenberger the entire week off to enjoy the festivities leading up to the game.