BATON ROUGE, La. -- We were sold a bill of goods. No. 8 LSU pulled a bait-and-switch on America. For the first half of the season, quarterback Zach Mettenberger and a newly discovered passing game has been the talk of the Tigers. Mettenberger came into the game leading the SEC in passing efficiency. Depending upon whom you ask, Mettenberger has been the best LSU passer since JaMarcus Russell -- or Y.A. Tittle.
And Mettenberger seemed emblematic of something bigger in the Southeastern Conference. The first half of the SEC season seemed to tip the balance in the league from the power game to the hurry-up, spread, 50-point style that has overtaken the rest of college football. LSU's last two games had been a 44-41 loss to Georgia and a 59-26 victory over Mississippi State.
But that's not what the Tiger offense showed Saturday, not with No. 17 Florida on the other side of the ball. The LSU offense played the game between the tackles, just the way that Gator coach Will Muschamp likes it. Actually, Muschamp coaches as if it he wants to play in an office cubicle. The LSU linemen know what the Florida linemen had for pregame meal -- and vice-versa.
And when the Tigers' 17-6 victory ended, they had proven that their offense may have modernized, but they can be valedictorian in the old school, too.