LSU Quarterback Zach Mettenberger came into the 2012 season highly-touted.
Tiger pundits and fans were convinced they finally had a true passing QB and, to go along with their run game, they would be unstoppable.
Early on, however, Mettenberger did not deliver on the expectations and LSU barely got by Auburn, lost to Florida while scoring only 6 points and didn't look real spiffy in a pair of wins over South Carolina and Texas A&M.
But then came what most are calling "the game of the year." The junior LSU signal-caller lit the Tide secondary up and even though the Tigers lost, he followed up with another fine showing against Mississippi State in a big LSU win.
"He looks like he's got his confidence now," said Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack. "The Alabama game was a big boost to him mentally, it looks like, and then he followed that up with a really good game against Mississippi State.
"I don't think LSU has changed much - we have done all the breakdowns from all their games, I just think he came into his own. He's got a bunch of talent around him, they have asked him not to lose a game and he started making good throws."
Obviously, the Rebs would prefer to be facing the "other" Mettenberger, the earlier version.
With Mettenberger clicking, the LSU offense is now two-dimensional. They have always been able to run the football with a bevy of talented backs, including freshman Jeremy Hill, the hard-running starter.
"Which one do you worry about?" Wommack deadpanned. "Hill is outstanding, but it seems like every time they send in a play, they send in another back.
"It's really no different than any LSU team. Any time I have ever played them, they have had at least two good backs. There doesn't seem to be a lot of difference in them either. They are all tough, physical and have decent speed.
"#11 (Spencer Ware) looks like the best one, but there's not much difference in him and Hill and a couple of more. They will rotate at least three."
Wommack said preparing the Rebel defense will be similar to preparing for Alabama and Georgia.
"They remind me of a mixture of those two teams. If they can, they will just knock you off the ball and keep the ball. It's not a big scheme game," he continued. "We have to prepare for a physical game, very physical."
The Rebels have been "decent" against the run this year, overall.
"I think we have a good run scheme, we have been able to rotate defensive linemen to help keep them fresh and the linebackers, for the most part, have been pretty healthy," Dave assessed. "We're not as big as we will be in the future, but our kids play hard and they play together.
"Our guys have worked real hard to do the right things and it's paid off, I believe. They are using their eyes better and are usually in the right places. We have cut down on explosive run plays lately. It will be important to make the right fits against LSU. They double on the line and zone up the linebackers, so fitting the gaps is absolutely the key to success."
Dave is excited about the experience the Rebels are getting in the bigger venues of college football - Alabama, Georgia and now LSU.
"I love that we are getting these experiences," he said. "There's going to be a time when we do the right things and make the right plays at the right times due to experience. We won't have the missed assignments like we did the other night (Vandy game).
"Coach (Hugh) Freeze calls it a process and that's what it is. I love these young guys. It's thrilling to go in my office and look at the board. The red tags are freshmen and redshirt freshmen. The green tags are sophomores. That board is full of those reds and greens. They are getting to play in the best arenas and atmospheres in the country. That is exciting to me to think how they will do when they have experience in those venues."