LSU Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 11 Game vs. Mississippi State
Zach Mettenberger for Heisman?
All right, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggerated thought at this point, but the LSU Tigers' first-year quarterback certainly played like a Heisman Trophy candidate on Saturday night.
Mettenberger threw for 273 passes and two touchdowns as LSU cruised to a 37-17 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC matchup.
We know how good Mettenberger was in this one, but who else stepped up for the Tigers in the win?
Who didn't live up to the expectations in the conference clash?
Let's go ahead and break down some winners and losers from LSU's win over Mississippi State.
Winner: Zach Mettenberger
The obvious choice here, but he was truly special in this one.
After getting off to a slow start this season, it appears that Mettenberger has found his stride and his place in this LSU offense.
For the second straight week, Mettenberger was brilliant passing the ball, this one of which concluded with a much-needed win for the Tigers as they keep their BCS chances alive.
Mettenberger completed 19 of 30 passes in this one and looked near flawless in doing so. He threw a nice deep ball while also managing to keep things simple and not force passes, as he finished without an interception as well.
Has Zach Mettenberger established himself as one of the top QBs in the SEC?
It looks like Zach Mettenberger has finally turned the corner and is turning into the quarterback everyone in Baton Rouge thought he would be heading into the 2012 season.
That is a great sign for the LSU Tigers.
Loser: Mississippi State backfield
Mississippi State's leading rusher, LaDarius Perkins, was held out of the game after straining a quad earlier in the week of practice.
Without Perkins, this backfield was near invisible, racking up just 47 yards on 24 carries. That's an average of less than 2.0 yards per carry, which isn't going to win many teams a football game, especially in the SEC, a conference known for running the football.
Sophomore running back Nick Griffin was the Bulldogs' leading rusher in the game, carrying the ball 11 times for 38 yards.
In the SEC, you have to run the ball, and Mississippi State just simply wasn't able to do so in this game.
Winner: Jarvis Landry
Who is going to be LSU's top receiver this season?
It is a question that has been on every LSU fan's mind this season after the departure of Rueben Randle to the NFL.
Well ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the answer to that question is sophomore Jarvis Landry.
The talented six-foot wideout hauled in a game-high nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in the win on Saturday.
Landry has now caught a combined 17 passes over the past two games and is establishing himself as Mettenberger's clear No.1 option.
That is a great thing to see for LSU fans.
Loser: Spencer Ware
What happened to Spencer Ware?
After rushing for more than 700 yards and eight touchdowns last season as a sophomore, Ware has been near invisible in the Tigers offense this season.
It's not that he's not getting carries; he has received 74 carries in the eight games he has played in this season, but he just isn't doing much once the ball is in his hands.
Ware managed just 13 yards on five carries in this game against Mississippi State, an average of just 2.6 yards per carry. In fact, Ware has yet to have a single game this season where he has averaged more than six yards per carry and has yet to score a rushing touchdown.
Ware did have a touchdown reception at the end of the first half, but where has this guy's running skills gone?
The Tigers need to find an answer to that question, fast.
Winner: Les Miles
You have to give Les Miles and the LSU coaching staff a lot of credit for this game, because after coming off such a tough loss last weekend to Alabama, it really was anyone's guess how this team was going to respond.
Well, the team responded in a big way and left with a commanding win over a good SEC football team in Mississippi State.
On offense, the attack was well balanced with 38 runs and 30 passes. On defense, the Tigers rush defense was near flawless, which it had to be if LSU was going to win in the dominant fashion that they did in this one.
This was a great game all around for the Tigers, and much of that credit has to be directed at this fantastic LSU coaching staff.
The Mad Hatter gets an A+ in this victory as the Tigers improve to 8-2 on the season.
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