LSU's Jeremy Hill Proves He Is Easily Tigers' Best RB in Win over Kent State
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The resurgence of Jeremy Hill was special to watch Saturday night.
Hill started for the first time this season. He ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries.
Hill scored LSU's first touchdown of the night with a 58-yard scamper. This is his fourth touchdown of 50 or more yards in his career.
Yet, it was not the result of Hill's runs that was impressive. It was his way of getting there that was jaw-dropping.
Hill broke through wimpy tacklers. But Hill also put defenders on ice with his elusiveness while not losing his thunderous power.
Hill is LSU's best back. There is a considerable drop-off from Hill to LSU's other three running backs.
The rushing attack struggled against TCU without Hill. He provided a boost against UAB. But when he got meaningful starter carries against Kent State, he showed he is head and shoulders above the rest.
LSU needs Hill if they want to win the SEC. He shredded defenses in conference play last season.
Of the next three, Terrance Magee looks better than Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard. Magee ran for 108 yards on nine carries and one touchdown against Kent State.
Magee blew past linebackers and safeties, though he was aided by a tired Kent State defense.
Blue and Hilliard have played well, but not great. They do not explode past tacklers and are often brought down on first hit.
All three running backs will be called upon, as Hill will wear down. They should take advantage of tired linebackers throughout the rest of the season.
The LSU offensive line have started the season somewhat slow. But now, the unit is starting to catch its stride after an offseason littered with injuries.
Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron are enjoying a rejuvenated passing game. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns against Kent State.
Mettenberger's ability to throw has helped set up the LSU running game. Defenders are playing on their back leg due to the threat of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.
But despite the air raid, LSU prides itself on basic running plays. Miles and Cameron's roots are old school.
Most basic running plays are designed for safeties to go unblocked. It is up to the running back to make defenders miss in the second level.
The LSU offensive line is excellent at allowing running backs to get clean runs through the line of scrimmage. The Kent State game was a perfect example.
Hill has the ability to make people miss at the second level. He breaks tackles effortlessly, resulting in extra yardage.
How do you view Jeremy's Hill worth to the team?
Magee is average at that. Blue and Hilliard have problems breaking through tacklers.
But should Hill even be on the team?
It is a good question to ask. His off-the-field actions have been horrendous. If he were not a star running back, there is a good chance he could be in jail.
Head coach Les Miles has been bashed with criticism for not kicking Hill off the team. But no matter a person's ethical standards, it was magnificent to watch Hill rumble past the Kent State defense.
People believed Miles sent the wrong message to LSU's players and fans by allowing Hill to stay on the team.
Miles showed his concern about his thin running back core by keeping Hill on the team. He would have kicked Hill off if LSU had good backups. Miles knows the drop-off from Hill to the other backs is drastic, and the team cannot win the SEC without him.
He is a bigger, faster and more elusive version of Stevan Ridley. It is spectacular theatre, something even casual fans want to see even if the person doing it sucker-punched a man at a bar.
Next week, LSU begins their SEC slate against Auburn. Expect Hill to get the majority of the carries then and for the rest of the season.
College football fans should get their popcorn ready. Season 2 of "The Jeremy Hill Show" is going to spectacular.
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