So what can conclusions can be drawn from the hot start to the season for LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger?
The senior came away from Saturday's cruise past Kent State with the Southeastern Conference's No. 1 pass efficiency rating. Yes, somehow, he's ahead of Johnny Football in that category, writes nola.com. A TD-INT ratio of 9-0 has made the difference. Manziel has thrown three interceptions among other dazzling numbers.
At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Mettenberger has ideal size and arm strength for the NFL. And NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah confirms he is generating some talk among NFL scouts:
For the season, Mettenberger has completed 45 of 69 passes for 797 yards in three games. But a closer look reveals a bit of caution might be warranted where Mettenberger's season is concerned. He has yet to play in a Southeastern Conference game, and even the non-conference competition he's faced has been between average and awful against the pass this season.
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UAB ranks 115th of 123 schools in pass defense, allowing a whopping 306 passing yards per game. Kent State has not been much better, ranked at No. 98 (270 passing yards per game). Texas Christian, normally stout on the defensive side of the ball, ranks No. 64 in pass defense (225 yards).
LSU faces Auburn -- an improved but still undermanned defense -- this Saturday in its SEC opener. The first real test for Mettenberger against a top-flight SEC pass defense will come Oct. 12 when the Tigers host Florida and star Gators cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson.