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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jefferson off to best start since Davey in 2001

BATON ROUGE - LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson missed some open receivers, particularly deep, on Saturday against ULL and looked uncomfortable and anxious at times, but he is still off to the best three-game start of a season by a new starting quarterback at LSU since Rohan Davey in 2001.

Yes, Jefferson has performed better than Matt Flynn did over his first three starts in 2007 and better than Matt Mauck's first three in 2002, Jarrett Lee's first three last season and JaMarcus Russell's opening trio in 2004, according to the comprehensive passing efficiency statistic that takes into account virtually all aspects of the forward pass.

Jefferson has completed 47 of 73 passes for 64.4 percent, 475 yards and five touchdowns against one interception for a 138.90 passing efficiency rating. That mark is only No. 7 in the SEC, but the SEC has some of the most efficient passers in the nation this season, including the nation's No. 1 quarterback in Arkansas' Ryan Mallett at 193.49 and the No. 7 passer in the country in Florida's Tim Tebow at 170.45. Jefferson is 45th nationally.

Jefferson's 64.4 completion percentage is the best of LSU's last seven starting quarterbacks who started at least three games. His five touchdown passes is second only to the six thrown by Lee in his first three starts last season.

Davey put together a 142.28 efficiency mark in his first three starts in 2001.

Here is the breakdown with year, opponents, completions-attempts-interceptions-yards-touchdowns and rating:

1. Rohan Davey, 2001 vs. Tulane, Utah St., at Tenn. - 53-96 (55 percent), 0 ints., 838 yds., 4 TDs, 142.28 rating.
2. Jordan Jefferson, 2009 at Wash., vs. Vanderbilt, ULL - 47-73 (64.4 percent), 1 int. 475 yds., 5 TDs, 138.90 rating.
3. Jarrett Lee, 2008 at Aub., vs. Miss. St., at Florida - 52-87 (59 percent) 4 ints. 652 yds. 6 TDs, 136.29 rating.
4. Matt Flynn, 2007 at Miss. St., vs. Va. Tech, S. Car. - 37-65 (57 percent), 1 int. 415 yds. 3 TDs, 122.71 rating.
5. Marcus Randle, 2002 vs. S. Car., at Aub., at Ky. - 31-66 (46 percent), 4 ints., 526 yds., 3 TDs, 116.79 rating.
6. JaMarcus Russell, 2004 at Fla., vs. Vanderbilt, Ala. - 13-25 (52 percent), 2 ints., 172 yds., 1 TD, 106.99 rating.
7. Matt Mauck, 2002 at Va. Tech, vs. Citadel, Miami-O. - 38-79 (48 percent), 2 ints., 439 yds., 3 TDs, 102.25 rating.

Flynn and Mauck each helped lead LSU to national championships in 2007 and 2003, respectively, but each had horrendous starts early in their career. Flynn completed just 8 of 19 for 70 yards with an interception in a win over South Carolina in 2007, while Mauck completed 8 of 18 for 90 yards with an interception in a win against The Citadel in 2002.

Russell threw two interceptions at Florida in his first start in 2004 while completing 6 of 10 passes. In 2006, he finished No. 3 in the nation in passing efficiency at 167.0, which is believed to be the highest final efficiency rating by an LSU quarterback in history. The NCAA developed the passing efficiency formula in 1979.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! Interesting stats. The offense should be O.K. if Jefferson improves a little and the running game improves a lot.

3:04 PM  

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