Monday, October 7 2013 11:59 AM EDT2013-10-07 15:59:13 GMT
In the aftermath of a rocky first half, No. 10 LSU opened the throttle against Mississippi State in the second half and drove the Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) to a 59-26 win over the Bulldogs (2-3, 0-2 SEC). If
In the aftermath of a rocky first half, No. 10 LSU opened the throttle against Mississippi State in the second half and drove the Tigers to a 59-26 win over the Bulldogs.
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
For me personally, LSU senior quarterback Zach
Mettenberger's incredible showing the last two weeks has brought back fond
memories of Rohan Davey and the Tigers' prolific passing attack during their
2001 SEC Championship season.
While JaMarcus Russell (2006) and Matt Mauck (2003)
hold the LSU single-season record for most touchdown passes with 28, and Tommy
Hodson (1986-1989) is easily the Tigers' all-time leading passer with 9,115
yards, Davey directed the most lethal Tigers' aerial assault I've ever seen.
Davey fired rockets for a single-season school record
3,351 yards during that 10-3 LSU campaign 12 years ago. That doesn't even
include Davey's epic 444 yards passing in a rather easy 47-34 Sugar Bowl
triumph over Illinois. But, not many fans will forget Davey torching Alabama for
an astonishing 528 yards, an LSU single-game record, during a 35-21 triumph in
Tuscaloosa. He didn't necessarily throw the prettiest ball - tight, beautiful
spirals were hardly Davey's specialty.
He could wing it, but the little bird could flutter during
flight. Davey also earned the reputation of a guy that really didn't practice
well. But when the stadium lights came on, No. 6 was simply a leader. He was
charismatic and cool. There was an infectious swagger he brought to the huddle.
And humorously, while LSU's offensive production ballooned, so could Davey's
"I don't know what's so hard about it," head coach Nick
Saban would gripe about his quarterback's weight. "I get on the scale every
morning. If I weigh more than I should, I don't eat as much that day."
Momma's Jamaican food apparently was a powerful and
Davey averaged a school record 279.2 yards per game
passing in '01. Fast forward to the present where Mettenberger has gunned it
for 289.6 yards per game through the first half of LSU's season. If he matches
those numbers during the second half of the year (and at this rate, he may
easily exceed them), Mettenberger would finish with 3,476 yards passing and 30
touchdown passes, both of which would be new LSU records, along with his 68.2
percentage completion percentage, which would top Russell's number of 67.8
percent in 2006. And with all due respect to JaMarcus, then offensive
coordinator Jimbo Fisher was dialing up a ton of slip and bubble screens that
season, passes that lend themselves to higher completion percentages.
Mettenberger and Davey, for that matter, don't dink and dunk, they sling it
And, what's the number that likely won't be big? As a
matter of fact, it could be skinnier than Screech and the most impressive of
them all. If Mettenberger duplicates his numbers from the first half of the
season in the second, he'll finish with a measly four interceptions in a
whopping 314 pass attempts. That's probably unlikely, considering the schedule
is almost exclusively tough SEC competition (no UAB or Kent State, although LSU
hosts Furman October 26) and the fact he's tossed picks in two of the last
three contests. Still, even if there are a few more picks tossed,
Mettenberger's touchdown to interception ratio should be fantastic.
Team success is obviously the ultimate goal for LSU and
Mettenberger, not records in a media guide. He probably knows little, if
anything, about the numbers detailed above. Winning a national championship is
what Mettenberger aspires to accomplish. But with new offensive coordinator Cam
Cameron proving to be nothing short of a brilliant hire for head coach Les
Miles, it's fun to envision what final stats this powerful quarterback will put
up. Like Josh Reed and Michael Clayton to Davey, Mettenberger has two
remarkable receivers to thank for much of his success. Juniors Jarvis Landry
and Odell Beckham Jr. have been an incredible duo, combining for 77 receptions,
1,302 yards and 13 touchdowns so far this year. And that's a whole different
column - how many records will Landry and Beckham break, before their college careers
And what about this for another big question - will
Mettenberger get himself into the Heisman Trophy discussion? Ask me that again on
November 10, a day after LSU's contest at two-time defending national champion
Alabama. A huge performance and victory against a Nick Saban defense all but
wrapped up the Heisman for Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel last season. It could
do the same for Mettenberger, but fellow college signal callers like Tahj Boyd
(Clemson), Jameis Winston (Florida State), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) and
yes, Manziel, along with their obscene statistics, might be too difficult to
Still, Mettenberger's 372 yards passing and three
touchdowns in a tight 44-41 loss at now No. 7 Georgia, followed by his 340 yards
and two more touchdowns in a 59-26 demolition of Mississippi State in
Starkville, definitely grabbed the nation's attention. An LSU quarterback
passing for 710 yards in two games? That was like a seven game total for the
Tigers in 2010. And if you think I'm exaggerating, go check the box scores.