BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's 41-3 win over Washington on Saturday proved that Zach Mettenberger could throw the ball down the field.
The next step is to find ways to give him more opportunities to do it, something head coach Les Miles seemed committed to Monday at his weekly news conference.
Mettenberger was 12-for-18 for 195 yards and a touchdown against the Huskies, numbers that probably would have been better had it not been for drops and would have been so gaudy if not for the Tigers' reluctance to throw. LSU built a 20-3 lead, then ran on 25 of its final 28 plays, a stretch where it saw the lead grow by 21 points as the Huskies were helpless to slow down the Tigers' running game.
"You look in the past, and you want to throw the ball more, but we've gotten up big in so many games, there really isn't a reason to throw the ball more," Mettenberger said, "especially when you are getting a five yards a carry."
The Tigers rushed for 242 yards on 52 carries against Washington, the week after piling up 316 yards on 46 carries against North Texas. LSU is second in the SEC in rushing at 279 yards a game and doesn't look to have a reason to have to stop running in upcoming weeks.
Next, the Tigers host 0-2 Idaho, which is giving up 126 rushing yards per game playing an early schedule that includes FCS power Eastern Washington and MAC member Bowling Green. They follow Idaho with a road trip to Auburn, which is last in the SEC in rush defense, then FCS member Towson.
Still, Miles wants to get his quarterback more work.
"I like the way our quarterback played [against Washington]," Miles said. "He was very accurate and he was really on his reads, doing the right right things. If that continues, we're going to keep him at that position and we want to use him more. We want to throw the football downfield more, more efficiently."
With the next three games being ones that almost scream for LSU to continue to pound defenses with the run, it might by October, when the Tigers go to Florida for their second SEC game Oct. 6, before the Tigers see a team that might force Mettenberger to throw it.
If there is one part of the passing game that was a problem last week, it was on the other end of the passes where LSU dropped five balls.
"I don't think it's a problem, but I think it's something we look at and address," Miles said. He added that the receivers need to be more consistent for the Tigers to achieve what they want to achieve.
Dworaczyk the answer
There was a question after Saturday's win over Washington whether Josh Dworaczyk would be LSU's permanent answer at left guard, where returning starter Chris Faulk was lost for the season last week with a kneee injury.
Miles seemed more inclined Monday to stick with Dworaczyk, who missed all of 2011 with a knee injury and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
"I think Josh can [play starters minutes]," Miles said. "He's been playing left guard his entire career and we've always used him as the backup left tackle. He's the guy who has always taken snaps [at left tackle]."
Miles said LSU will continue to experiment with other combinations during practice, but he expects as game day approaches, the focus will move more to a lineup with Dworaczyk at left tackle.
In his first start against Washington, LSU allowed no quarterback sacks and piled up 437 yards offense.
Miles 'respects' Idaho
LSU opened as 42.5-point favorites against Idaho, but Miles did his best to spin the competitiveness of Saturday's game.
"I respect how they played Bowling Green," Miles said of last week's 21-13 Bowling Green win over the Vandals. "I recognize that Bowling Green is a very capable Division I team."
Miles noted that before beating Idaho, Bowling Green played Florida close before losing, 27-14.
Montgomery, Mills honored
LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after he had a sack and three quarterback hurries against Washington. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and four total tackles.
Jalen Mills was named SEC Freshman of the Week after getting his first career interception against the Huskies. He also had seven tackles.