HOOVER, Ala. — It’s been a hectic past week for Zach Mettenberger. So much so that his 21st birthday on Monday might have been lost in the shuffle.
“I didn’t really celebrate,” Mettenberger said Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days. “I came back from the Manning camp – it was a long weekend – and I had to prepare for this so I really haven’t even celebrated my birthday yet.”
The former Georgia quarterback will be a key player as he takes over as a starter at Louisiana State University.
“It’s something that I’m really, really looking forward to,” Mettenberger said. “Playing big-time college football’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid.”
Mettenberger, who starred at Oconee County High in Watkinsville, worked his way back to this position after a season at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., following his dismissal from Georgia. He plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
FLORIDA: Coming off its first six-loss season since 1987, the Gators aren’t being mentioned in the same breath as Georgia and South Carolina in the Eastern Division.
“We like being the underdog,” Florida linebacker Lerentee McCray said. “We want to surprise everybody because everybody’s doubting us. …Everybody is talking down on us.”
“People say what will be different?” said coach Will Muschamp, a former Georgia safety. “We better score some more points.”
Florida was 71st in the nation in scoring offense and scored 12 or fewer points in five games last season.
KENTUCKY: Joker Phillips became the first coach to take Kentucky to a bowl game in his first season, but the Wildcats have gone 6-7 and 5-7 in his two seasons.
“I’m not sitting down right now so there’s nothing hot,” Phillips said. “I don’t have time to listen to that stuff. All we have time to think about is doing all the productive things in our program to get it back where we want it to be.”