White records shutout in LSU spring game
BATON ROUGE — Senior Zach Mettenberger threw for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the White team, which was comprised mainly of starters, to a 37-0 win over the Purple here Saturday before 28,000 fans in Tiger Stadium in LSU’s National L-Club Spring Game presented by Tony Chachere’s.
Mettenberger, who played just the first half, completed 12-of-19 passes in leading the White to a 16-0 halftime advantage. Backup Stephen Rivers played the entire second half, which featured a running clock, at quarterback and turned in perhaps his best performance in a scrimmage since joining the Tigers by connecting on 7-of-10 passes for 185 yards and two scores.
“Anytime that you finish spring with a game style of event, it doesn’t necessarily show off everything you can do offensively, defensively or on special teams for that matter,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “You’re playing with a team that is divided, and certainly there is some production you can get. You’re not necessarily trying to have the kind of days to win championships. You just need to be productive. Today was that kind of day. Defense played well. We played one front and one coverage and tackled well and played how they’re supposed to.”
“Offensively, I think we handled the ball well. We rushed it well. Again, it’s more of the statistics against the second team defense. Still, guys that needed to catch the ball did, and guys that needed to throw it did improve. The key statistics today is that we are not coming away with injury. It didn’t appear to me that anyone got hurt, so we go into the summer season with a lot to improve on.”
Other standouts for the White offense were Odell Beckham Jr. with six catches for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Jarvis Landry with six receptions for 132 yards and Jeremy Hill with 102 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Beckham Jr. scored on a 79-yard pass from Mettenberger in the second quarter and then closed out the scoring on a 21-yard reception from Rivers late in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman Travin Dural hauled in a 45-yard TD pass from Rivers early in the third quarter to give the White squad a 23-0 advantage.
The Purple team, which was comprised of second- and third-teamers, was led by quarterback Anthony Jennings, who threw for 98 yards and added another 26 yards on the ground. Hayden Rettig and Brad Kragthorpe each took snaps at quarterback for the Purple squad.
Terrence Magee saw action for both teams and finished with a total of 73 rushing yards, including a 47-yard run, on nine carries.
Defensively, Miles singled out the play of defensive end Danielle Hunter (eight tackles, two sacks), defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (five tackles), linebacker Lamin Barrow (seven tackles) and safety Craig Loston (six tackles, one interception).
“We probably did not play five starters at some point in time in today’s game on offense, defense and special teams,” Miles said. “When this team reconvenes in June, with a real quality freshman class — four defensive ends, two defensive tackles and a secondary — some real quality additions that I think when we reconfigure this team, it should be a really strong team. There’s a lot to build on. Certainly a great challenge to start a summer season. It’s certainly one to finish the academic semester. When you get to the summer, recognize that we have a real quality opponent to start the season and we will look forward to playing TCU.”
LSU opens the 2013 season on Aug. 31 against TCU in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Former Patterson High standout Kenny Hilliard grabbed three awards in the 2013 LSU Spring Football Awards. Two of the awards were for his performance in spring drills with the other award for his performance during the off season.
Hilliard was presented with the Eric Andolsek Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in spring drills on offense; the Ralph Norwood Performance Award for outstanding performance in spring drills on offense; and finally the Alvin Roy Fourth Quarter Award for his outstanding performance in the LSU off-season program.
Hilliard will be a junior running back this fall.