Hill Learned a Valuable Lesson from His First-Half Benching

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Hill Learned a Valuable Lesson from His First-Half Benching
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

On the Tigers' first offensive snap Hill took a handoff and suddenly the ball ended up on the ground. Hill recovered the fumble and got the ball each of the next two plays, but after a timeout later in the drive he didn't see the field again until the second quarter. It was about 15 minutes of game time before Hill got another chance to touch the football. Everyone knows Miles does not tolerate fumbles, even from a runner as talented as Hill. Miles said there is no set rule for benching a back who puts the ball on the ground, but this time he felt the need to prove a point to his star sophomore. "That was the first play of the game, and you have to think the first play of the game you'd have ball security," Miles said. "So it was a little bit -- it was an indication, if you will, that we needed to get his attention." It was not a Rebel defender that stripped the ball from Hill. He ran into the back of LSU tackle La'El Collins and the ball popped out. Afterward, Hill explained to the coaches what happened; they talked about it and moved on from there. It was his only fumble in 256 career carries as a Tiger. Even though he's never had a fumbling problem and LSU retained possession, he said Miles' message was received loud and clear and he had no plans of letting one anomaly transform into a trend. "I just have to make sure I keep the ball high and tight," Hill said. "It happens and it's just part of the game, but I just can't let it happen again." Senior tailback Alfred Blue said there was no need to jump on Hill after his fumble because everyone makes mistakes. He simply walked over and gave his fellow back a friendly reminder to always keep two hands on the ball near the line of scrimmage. "I just told him to be careful with the ball," Blue said. "Just reminded him to hold it high and tight and two-for-five, that's what (running back) coach (Frank) Wilson always tells us, man. And after that you saw how he carried the ball." In fact, running backs under Wilson don't just prioritize ball security, they practically worship it. Both Hill and Blue said the LSU backs follow a creed about holding on to the pigskin at all costs. Blue wouldn't elaborate on the specific wording of the creed, but said Wilson created it and the entire running back room recites it every Friday and before every game. I just have to make sure I keep the ball high and tight. It happens and it's just part of the game, but I just can't let it happen again." "It's something we all take great pride in, especially as running backs who have the ball in our hands on multiple occasions," Hill said. "Defenders are always trying to strip at it and get it away from you, so it's something you have to work at on an everyday basis and get used to it with repetition." No surprise, the LSU running backs have already resumed working on ball security in practice this week preparing for Saturday's game against Furman. Email Related Stories Ron Higgins | Eyeballin' the SEC: These Tigers are unbeaten? After stunning loss at Ole Miss, LSU players focused on strong stretch run: Notebook Sponsored By: Scoreboard Sat, Oct 26 6:00 PM CT ESPN3/ESGP Furman (3-4) 13 LSU (6-2) Preview question of the day What's wrong with LSU's defense? Is it the coaching, the players -- or the fault of the NFL early departures? ... Read More» lsu features Send in your LSU mailbag questions College sports chat schedule standingsscheduleplayers Schedule 2013 Date Opponent Result / Time 8/31 at 20 TCU W 37 - 27 9/7 vs. UAB W 56 - 17 9/14 vs. Kent State W 45 - 13 9/21 vs. Auburn W 35 - 21 9/28 at 9 Georgia L 41 - 44 10/5 at Mississippi State W 59 - 26 10/12 vs. 17 Florida W 17 - 6 10/19 at Mississippi L 24 - 27 10/26 vs. Furman 6:00 CT 11/9 at 1 Alabama TBA 11/23 vs. 14 Texas A&M TBA 11/29 vs. Arkansas TBA videophotos LSU Mailbag: Can LSU defense make stops? 10:16 AM Uploaded by Robert Riddick, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune More LSU Videos » most commentsmost read 294 Gov. Jindal should take Medicaid money, put people over politics: Editorial 193 For Obama, a frustrating health care rollout 88 New Orleans Saints chat with Katherine Terrell at noon 63 Recruiting chat with analyst James Smith (Transcript) 51 Woman found dead in Lower 9th Ward was shot to death, police say See more comments...

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