In Baton Rouge, quarterback Zach Mettenberger and the rest of the LSU Tigers – including staff – are busy preparing for their nationally televised spotlight game against Georgia. Over in Athens, however, while the players, coaches and most of the staff will be plugging away, one person will be extremely well rested.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt has given administrative assistant Tammy Mettenberger, mother of LSU QB Zach, the week off.
“She loves her son, obviously, and it would be awkward for her to be hanging around all week,” Richt said Sunday night. “I told her, ‘Enjoy it, go have fun, do some things you wouldn’t normally do this time of year and enjoy it.’ ”
Mettenberger – the son – was actually a Bulldog in 2010. He spent the offseason competing with Aaron Murray for the starter’s role, lost out, and wound up dismissed from the team a year later. He dropped to the junior college level before resurfacing in the SEC with LSU. The fifth-year senior is in his second season with the Tigers, but will be headed to his old stomping grounds for the first time as a rival signal-caller.
Through it all, however, Richt only wishes for the best for him. Except for this week, of course.
“We’ve been knowing Zach since he was a very young kid,” Richt said. “We all really like Zach and want the best for him but just don’t want him to win the game this weekend. That’s the only thing that’s different from normal, is we’re competing against him this week.”
Who they happen to be competing against is one of the most naturally talented quarterbacks in the nation. After struggling a year ago, Mettenberger has flourished under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, throwing for 1,026 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception in leading the Tigers to a 4-0 record.
At the end of the day, Richt is much more concerned about that, not Tammy’s feelings.
“I won’t bring it up, rather than trying to defend the quarterback who happens to be Zach Mettenberger,” Richt said. “We’re not gonna be worrying about he’s Zach Mettenberger so much as he’s 6-foot-5, 230-whatever he is and can sling it. We just want to do the best we can to defend him and defend his offense.”
[H/T: John Clay]