HOOVER, Ala. -- LSU dominated the SEC a year ago, winning the western division and the conference title over Georgia. However, their BCS National Championship game rematch with Alabama went the way of the Crimson Tide, and that's fuel to the fire for the 2012 Tigers.
"I don't think I'll ever forget it," said LSU safety Eric Reid. "We had an amazing season, we were undefeated, it was very exciting. I loved the guys I had the opportunity to play with and it was a tough pill to swallow. We would have liked to come out on top in that game but we didn't."
Head coach Les Miles added, "With great achievement, there's also great expectations. I think we're looking forward to finishing. I think the opportunity to get to the back of the season and win is something that our team certainly has not lost sight of."
Junior College transfer Zach Mettenberger takes over for Jordan Jefferson and former Brenham Cub Jarrett Lee at quarterback this season, and hopes are high he can help the Tiger offense reach new heights in 2012.
Mettenberger said, "It's gonna be a big step. The last time I really took a meaningful snap in a game was junior college. It's gonna be a huge step playing in front of 100,000 instead of 5,000, but I'm definitely looking forward to the opportunity and hopefully I can live up to the hype and expectations."
Wide receiver Odell Beckham likes what he sees from his new quarterback. "We have the chance to spread the ball around a little bit more. With last year it was just such a, our running game was so dominant there wasn't a need to throw the ball. With Zach back there we'll be able to throw the ball around and, therefore, it will open up the run game."
The Tigers welcome Texas A&M to the SEC West this season, and they feel like the Aggies will make some noise in the toughest division in college football.
"I think they're a great team," Miles said. "I think they potentially add strength to our conference. They bring in a great Texas contingent. I think they're a very talented team. I think there's an opportunity for them to compete very effectively."
LSU opens the season September 1 at home against North Texas.