Mettenberger himself was fairly emblematic of the team in general. He made some very nice throws, but almost seemed to get a bit lazy near the redzone, where his interception came on a bad decision and a lazy, back-foot throw. Not bad, just sloppy. The touchdown pass to Kadron Boone signified things perfectly -- a beautiful throw, putting an in-cut out in front for the receiver and away from the corner, after climbing the ladder away from pressure in the pocket. But he also missed Jarvis Landry on a post that would've been an easier six just a beat sooner. Still, remember, this was his first start.
It is worth pointing out that LSU's coaching staff appeared to play things safe with Mettenberger at times. The offense relied upon a series of quick slants and short hitches that didn't put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. The coaching staff didn't open things up until North Texas moved to take the short routes away. His touchdown pass was a thing of beauty, but the lack of focus on some of his other throws leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Despite plenty of turnover on the LSU roster with the departure of top defensive talent and a brand new quarterback at the helm, the Tigers didn't have much difficult cruising through the North Texas Mean Green for a 41-14 victory.
In new quarterback Zach Mettenberger's debut, he wasn't spectacular, but was efficient enough, completing 19-of-27 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Where the Tigers dominated, though, was on the ground.
The combination of Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue racked up 271 yards rushing on 30 attempts, with each of the running backs finding the end zone once. LSU's leading rusher in 2011, Michael Ford, was cleared for the game after questions that his academics would hold him out of the team's season debut, but he didn't have nearly as much impact, gaining 40 yards on seven carries.
Box Score Hero: Hilliard earns the honor of box score MVP with 148 yards rushing on 14 carries, including a touchdown. His stats were boosted plenty by a 60-yard run late in the second quarter that put LSU within the North Texas 10-yard line, but led to a Mettenberger interception.
Rankings Ramifications: Considering the dominating performances that are still in progress by No. 1 USC over Hawaii and No. 2 Alabama over No. 8 Michigan, the strong performance by the No. 3 LSU Tigers will likely keep the rankings the same. If there is any shift in the rankings, it will surely be a small one.
But Did They Cover? The Tigers did not cover the spread as 42.5 point favorites, and 14 points allowed to North Texas is uncharacteristic for a team that held seven teams to single digits in 2011, but considering the amount of freshness to the program, it is understandable.
The LSU Tigers have suffered their first injury of the 2012 regular season with quarterback Zach Mettenberger leaving Saturday's game against North Texas with an apparent concussion, according to Jeff Duncan.
Mettenberger has been looked upon by many in the college football world as the wild-card for a team that is expected to compete for the SEC and National Championship once again. The 6'5'' 230 pound signal-caller is taking over for the combination of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson.
A junior, Mettenberger has bounced around quite a bit in his collegiate career. Mettenberger signed originally at Georgia to play under Mark Richt before transferring to Butler Community College after just one year in Athens.
The 21-year-old has showed considerable promise thus far with LSU, showing well in the spring game in which he went 14-of-25 for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns.