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Thursday October 10, 2013 Muschamp is no stranger to first-year LSU offensive coordinator Cameron

Updated: 3:47pm, October 10


The Gators will look to contain LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger like last year in The Swamp.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has an impressive track record over the last decade of developing quarterbacks.

Cameron was San Diego's offensive coordinator for five years (2002-06) and helped Drew Brees develop into one of the league's best quarterbacks. As Baltimore's offensive coordinator from 2008 to early in the 2012 season, Cameron did the same for Joe Flacco.

Cameron's latest protégé is LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who has thrown for 1,738 yards and 15 touchdowns and is on pace to break school records in both categories.

While Cameron spent the last 11 seasons in the NFL prior to joining Les Miles' staff -- he was Miami's head coach in 2007 -- Gators head coach Will Muschamp is familiar with Cameron's offensive system.

In Muschamp's one season in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Dolphins under Nick Saban, the Dolphins faced San Diego, where Cameron was Marty Schottenheimer's offensive coordinator.

The game took place on Dec. 11, 2005 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Brees threw for 279 yards but needed 52 attempts in Miami's 23-21 win. The Dolphins entered as a 13.5-point underdog according to but sealed the victory on a late field goal set up by a Brees fumble.

The Miami defensive lineman who recovered the fumble with 2:37 left in the game: former Gators All-American Kevin Carter.

The victory was the third in a six-game win streak to close the season in Muschamp's only season in the NFL. Miami rallied to finish 9-7 but Muschamp returned to college football the next season as defensive coordinator at Auburn.

Muschamp said his head-to-head win against Cameron eight years ago would have little impact on Saturday at LSU as the Gators try to stay unbeaten in the SEC.

The Gators have studied film of Cameron's offenses like they would for any other opponent.

“Different players, different level and a long time ago,” Muschamp said.

However, Muschamp can tell a difference in Mettenberger under Cameron's tutelage.

"He's more effective taking the ball. He's more accurate with the ball. I think he's got a better understanding in the passing game obviously last year being his first year as the guy,'' Muschamp said. "They are very efficient in what they do throwing the football and taking shots down the field and stretching the field vertically. Creating some intermediate throws. Tailoring the offense to fit the quarterback, and I think that’s one he’s done a nice job of.”

Florida's SEC-leading defense is expected to be challenged by Mettenberger, who was 11 of 25 for 158 yards and an interception in Florida's 14-6 home win over the Tigers last season.

The reason Miles brought Cameron on board was in large part to work with Mettenberger, a highly touted prospect coming out of high school but inconsistent in college.

That has changed.

"Cam gets a lot of credit,” Miles said this week. "Zach was ready to make changes and was very receptive to Cam. Cam is a very special coach and has made a difference."

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