This is how you defeat Alabama.
Get strong play from your quarterback.
That’s how Texas A&M beat Bama last year and almost did it this season.
And that’s how LSU and Georgia almost knocked off the Tide in 2012.
Here’s what CBS analyst Gary Danielson told the Tim Brando Show this week:
“If you look at the formula for teams that have beaten them in the past, you have to start at excellence at quarterback. It doesn’t mean you throw 50 times. You can. It’s an option, but you have to be able to throw at an elite level. They gobble up inferior quarterbacks. They just do. No matter who you are. No matter how good you are, if you have inferior quarterback play, they gobble you up, OK? That’s including anybody and any style.”
Of course, Danielson added, that teams have to “match up physically” and “have athletes on the wings,” which are two boxes LSU can check.
But it starts at quarterback.
And LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) will need another excellent game from Zach Mettenberger if it hopes to defeat No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) tomorrow (8 p.m., CBS).
Mettenberger introduced himself to the nation in last year’s game, completing 24 of his 35 attempts for 298 yards and a fourth-quarter TD pass to Jarvis Landry that gave the Tigers a 17-14 lead. That advantage vanished when A.J. McCarron threw the game-winner with 51 seconds left.
Mettenberger has shined for the most part this season with 19 TDs and 2,492 yards passing, but he threw three interceptions in a loss to Ole Miss on Oct. 19 and two more the next week against Furman, giving him seven picks this season.
So he needs to bounce back strong if LSU wants to hang with the Tide.
Here’s how Mettenberger took advantage of LSU’s bye week, according to NOLA.com.
“I wanted last week to fine tune my craft, some things that were getting sloppy, that I wasn’t doing at the beginning of the year, I was doing toward the tail end of that stretch. Just kind of tightening up my game again. I could break down film in practice and see in my footwork and tightening up my lower body. Some of that got long. I wanted to get back to how I was playing earlier in the year.”
If Mettenberger does that, LSU has a chance.
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