The first place Danny Etling began learning his now-effective play-action move might surprise you.
“I had a Game Boy and there’s a Brett Favre video, and he’s showing play-action and hiding the ball like this,” LSU’s quarterback said, gesturing as if he’s tucking an imaginary ball into his belly.
You remember Game Boys, right? The electronic handheld console manufactured by Nintendo.
That’s where it started for Etling, the fifth-year senior who is off to a hot start in this season. The 12th-ranked Tigers (2-0) visit Mississippi State (2-0) on Saturday night in Starkville with one of the more accurate passers, at least through two games, in college football.
He’s completed 71 percent of his attempts, with a touchdown and no interceptions. Seven of his completions went for 20 yards or more — two more than the program had through the first four games of last season.
Six of those seven long balls? They came after a play-action — a fake to a running back or, in Matt Canada’s offense, possibly a receiver in motion behind center.
The play fake is something Canada is using significantly through two games. Of Etling’s 31 total attempts, 13 followed a play fake. He’s completed nine of those 13 for a whopping 270 yards. That’s an average of 30 yards on each play-action completion.
People are starting to notice.
“Etling sells the fakes well,” said Cole Cubelic, a former Auburn center-turned-sideline analyst for SEC Network who called last week’s game against Chattanooga. “When you have a back like (Derrius) Guice, it makes…
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