Heisman Watch: LSU’s Mettenberger Looks To Make Dent In Race Vs. Alabama

By Kevin McGuire

We are coming down the final stretch of the college football season, which means the Heisman Trophy race is starting to wind down as well. While there appears to be some clear favorites in the conversation, there still may be some time for players to make a dent before the end of the season. That may include one of the top quarterbacks this season from the SEC.

QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 28: Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers passes against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Credit, Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

By now, we have taken a glance at some of the SEC’s Heisman hopefuls. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last season. Georgia’s Aaron Murray has led his team to some thrilling wins this year, at times rewriting the SEC record books. Alabama’s AJ McCarron has done nothing but win. But what about the league’s second highest-rated passer, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger?

Mettenberger trails only Manziel in the SEC when it comes to passer rating and touchdown passes. Mettenberger has thrown fewer interceptions than Manziel, but so has everybody in the SEC other than Tennessee’s Justin Worley. Mettenberger actually has the second most interceptions in the SEC but he also leads the conference in yards per attempt with 10.8 yards for each pass attempted this season, nearly half a yard more than Manziel. Mettenberger is one of three quarterbacks in the SEC to have thrown for over 2,000 yards before November, joining Manziel and Murray.

Mettenberger is a big reason for LSU’s success. His typical drop-back style has helped him become an attractive option for prospective NFL suitors in the 2014 NFL Draft. He will not break a big play with his feet, but he doesn’t even need to move much with LSU having such a strong running game.

If LSU had avoided taking two losses by now, Mettenberger would likely be a more worthy candidate in this discussion. Two losses obviously do not rule out a candidate (take Manziel last year for example), but Mettenberger will have to impress down the stretch just to get an invite to New York. Beating Alabama with a flawless performance would help build that momentum this weekend.

Heisman Watch Game of the Week

Stanford vs. Oregon: While Mettenberger and McCarron will be duking it out in a key SEC West division game, all eyes will be on Thursday night’s contest in the Pac 12 between Oregon and Stanford. At this point in the season, it seems the top two candidates for the Heisman are Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. On Thursday night, Mariota leads the Ducks into Stanford in the Pac 12’s game of the year, with the BCS championship on the line. This will be Mariota’s chance to provide a Heisman moment, for whatever that is worth, but also a chance to cement his Heisman candidacy.

Check out our other Heisman hopefuls here or join the conversation on the College Twitter Wall.

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

Comments

More From CBS Tampa

Man Who Killed Wife, Put Photo on Facebook to be SentencedA South Florida man who fatally shot his wife and posted a photo of her body on Facebook could be sentenced to life in prison.
A Gearhead Embraces An Electric Car. Really.Car zealots are a unique bunch. The Ford people make fun of the Chevy people, the Chevy people love to tell the Ford people that their cars are Found On Road Dead and everyone makes fun of the Honda kids because of how they wear those sideways hats and because of VTEC, yo.

Listen Live