Saturday’s showdown between Southeastern Conference rivals could turn into a battle of the quarterbacks, which would be much different than what the rivalry between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers has produced in the past.
Everyone knows A.J. McCarron, quarterback for the Tide. He’s the one that has been in the spotlight for the past two and a half seasons, winning a pair of BCS National Championships and dating the stunning former Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb.
On the other side is Zach Metttenberger, LSU’s signal caller. Mettenberger was solid last season, but has flourished in 2013 under the direction of new LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Mettenberger needs just eight yards to become the first quarterback in LSU history to have consecutive 2,500-yard passing seasons.
So, how do the two quarterbacks stack up against one another? In 2013, Mettenberger is second in the SEC in pass efficiency (177.07), while McCarron is fourth (166.61). Mettenberger is second in the league in touchdown passes (19), while McCarron is fifth (16). Mettenberger is second in the SEC in passing yards (2,492), while McCarron is fifth (1,862).
McCarron does have a higher completion percentage (69.4 to 65.4) and has thrown fewer interceptions (three to seven). And, in the most important category, McCarron’s Alabama team is 8-0, while Mettenberger’s LSU squad is 7-2.
In a rivalry that’s known for the ground game and tough defense, this game could be won through the air. Both coaches have supreme confidence in their quarterbacks, and both Nick Saban and Les Miles also know that the opposing team’s secondary can be picked on. Which could make this game, for a change, the battle of the quarterbacks.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.