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GeauxTigerNation mailbag

9/20/2012

GeauxTigerNation recruiting writer David Helman is back with another GeauxTigerNation mailbag, taking questions about LSU football and the Tigers' recruiting efforts this year.

From @BrandonLoveDay: Even with all the issues that were stated in Gary's piece about LSU at AU, does this not spell blowout to you?

Call me a pessimist, but I'm always leery about writing off an SEC opponent before the ball has been kicked. I have watched all of Auburn's games beginning to end, so I'm well aware of how horribly the Tigers have struggled on offense. I also know the new-look defense on the Plains surrendered more than 500 yards of offense to Clemson and gave up 410 yards to Louisiana-Monroe last weekend.

The evidence for another beatdown like last year's 45-10 shellacking seems pretty clear. But this is still an SEC team with a roster full of talented players -- many of whom chose the blue variety of Tiger over the purple. Auburn also has its back to the wall. A loss Saturday would drop the Tigers to 1-3 with games still to come against Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Alabama. None of those are easy, especially with the way Auburn has played so far and bowl eligibility could be a real struggle. I think the Tigers play an inspired game to keep it relatively close at halftime. LSU pulls away in the second half, 38-13.

From @LSUMav: With Auburn giving up 217 yards per game on the ground, does LSU throw the ball more than 12 times?

I feel like there could be a gambling line set on the number of passes Zach Mettenberger attempts per game this season. He'll clearly attempt more than 12, and he'll almost certainly attempt fewer than 25. But what if I set the line at about 19.5? What do you do? He's thrown 66 passes through three games. He's making his first road start, so Les Miles will probably want to limit his ability to make mistakes. And Auburn's run defense is suspect, so the LSU backs should have their way.

I think Mettenberger completes around 20 passes for about 220 yards.

From Chris: LSU's recruiting class is already basically filled to this point in the year. Is it realistic to think the Tigers will hold on to all their recruits, and whose commitments concern you?

The twists and turns that lead up to national signing day are well-documented by this point. The Tigers face the interesting prospect of having five or six tantalizing prospects still considering them while only holding three spots in the class. I think that's the big reason why we probably won't see much commitment news on the 2013 front during this season.

Grades are always a big concern for any recruiting class, but the guy I wonder about the most is Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles /Cathedral). Anyone that follows LSU recruiting can see the parallels to Gunner Kiel: out-of state player, highly-touted, no ties to Louisiana. Rettig is absolutely racking up stats in his senior season with Cathedral -- 14 touchdowns to one pick through three games -- and it's bound to draw some interest from one of the dozen programs to offer him a scholarship.

LSU has an advantage in that the Tigers and quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe were recruiting him hard before he had bounced back from the ACL injury he suffered as a junior. So that might earn some loyalty points. But Los Angeles is a long way away, and there are up-and-coming BCS programs like UCLA just across town hoping to sway him. We'll see what happens.