LSU Football: Winners and Losers of 2013 Purple and Gold Spring Game
There are plenty of questions heading into the 2013 college football season about how LSU is going to handle the loss of 10 starters from last year's team.
Several of those questions were answered in Saturday's spring game, at least for the time being.
Zach Mettenberger and Stephen Rivers combined to pass for 421 yards and four touchdowns as the White team rolled to a 37-0 win over the Purple team.
The White squad, which was comprised mostly of starters, dominated the contest from start to finish and left fans with a feeling of comfort, knowing that this LSU team should be in good hands in the upcoming season.
The quarterbacks were dominant in the scrimmage, but who else stood out for the White team in this one-sided affair?
Also, who failed to live up to expectations in this scrimmage?
Let's go ahead and break down the winners and losers from LSU's 2013 spring game.
Winner: Zach Mettenberger
There was a lot of pressure on Zach Mettenberger heading into last season, his first as LSU's starting signal-caller.
Now, one year later, with a full year of starting experience under his belt, Mettenberger has learned to deal with that pressure, and the results are showing out on the field.
The senior-to-be completed 12 of 19 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's spring game scrimmage.
He continues to develop exceptional chemistry with his wide receivers, especially Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. That is huge for this LSU offense, which returns eight starters heading into the 2013 season.
Look for Mettenberger to take that next step in 2013 and help transition this offense from a good one to a great one.
Loser: Kenny Hilliard
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With Michael Ford and Spencer Ware leaving school early for the NFL, and Alfred Blue recovering from an injury, LSU is expecting big things from Kenny Hilliard this season.
Hilliard didn't give the fans much to cheer about on Saturday after a pretty subpar outing.
The junior-to-be carried the ball just five times for a measly 21 yards in Saturday's spring game.
Perhaps some of that was by design, as clearly, the quarterbacks threw a lot in this controlled scrimmage game.
But still, you would like to see more production from a guy who is expected to be a big-time playmaker out of this LSU backfield in 2013.
Winner: Jeremy Hill
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While Hilliard struggled in the backfield for LSU, Jeremy Hill shined bright in Saturday's spring scrimmage.
Hill rushed for a team-best 103 yards on 13 carries, an average of just about eight yards per carry.
After Alfred Blue went down with a season-ending injury last season, it was Hill who stepped up and eventually filled the role as the Tigers' lead rusher.
All signs point to Hill picking up right where he left off as he should be looked upon as being the Tigers' workhorse out of the backfield in 2013.
His outing on Saturday certainly gave fans some reassurance that he is ready to take on that role yet again.
Loser: Alfred Blue
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I know what you're thinking—how can a player who didn't even play in the game be on the "losers" list for Saturday's spring game?
Well, in order to understand why, you have to take a look at Blue's comments that came before Saturday's game.
LSU's student newspaper, The Daily Reveille, asked several football players their thoughts about the possibility of having a gay teammate.
Blue responded, "“Football is supposed to be this violent sport — this aggressive sport that grown men are supposed to play. Ain’t no little boys out here between them lines. So if you gay, we look at you as a sissy. You know? Like, how you going to say you can do what we do and you want a man?”
What? Are you kidding me?
Aren't these players properly trained how to address questions from the media?
Blue later apologized for his comments made, but even so, if that truly is the way you feel about the issue, it is probably best to keep that bottled up inside instead of putting something like that out there in the media.
As Keyshawn Johnson would say, "Come on Man!"
Winner: Odell Beckham Jr.
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As mentioned earlier, it is refreshing to see how much chemistry Zach Mettenberger has developed with his wide receivers this offseason.
On Saturday, it was Beckham Jr. who stole the show in the passing game.
The junior-to-be hauled in a team-best six catches for an eye-popping 202 yards and two touchdown scores. Those touchdowns came on catches of 79 and 21 yards.
Beckham Jr. showed glimpses of greatness during his freshman season and took that next step toward being a star last year.
Now, entering his third year, Beckham Jr. should not only be one of the top playmaking wide receivers on this LSU team, but throughout the entire SEC conference.
This kid is a star in the making, and he showed just why that is with his outstanding performance in Saturday's spring game.
Loser: Hayden Rettig
While one freshman quarterback shined bright for the Tigers on Saturday afternoon, the other one struggled mightily.
Hayden Rettig, a highly touted prospect from Los Angeles, didn't complete a single pass in Saturday's spring game.
Rettig finished the game 0-of-4 and was sacked on his other passing attempt.
This is expected to be a learning year for Rettig with a redshirt most likely in store for the talented quarterback prospect.
But nonetheless, you would like to see better production out a kid who enrolled early this spring with the hopes of learning the playbook and possibly vying for a backup job this fall.
From the looks of it, he has a long way to go before that dream can turn into a reality.