LSU RB Jeremy Hill Should Dominate the Outback Bowl vs. Iowa

Carter BryantContributor IDecember 13, 2013

Jeremy Hill celebrates after a 52-yard touchdown run against Arkansas.
Jeremy Hill celebrates after a 52-yard touchdown run against Arkansas.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Les Miles' controversial decision (as outlined by B/R's Michael Felder) to keep Jeremy Hill on the roster was crucial for LSU. 

If Miles had kicked off Hill, LSU's season will not have been the same. Hill's long runs were the difference against national championship finalist Auburn, handing the Tigers from the Plains their only loss. The game would have been much closer if not for Hill.  

Backups Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue were disappointments. Terrence Magee had a tremendous late surge, but still lacks the power and speed of Hill.

Hill finished the season with just under 1,200 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 6.8 yards per carry. The sophomore's efforts earned him first-team All-SEC honors.

Hill's LSU career could soon be over. If the trend of Tigers running backs leaving early for the draft continues, he will be playing on Sundays next season.

But Hill must play at least one more game. LSU will go bowling against Iowa in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

Iowa struggled stopping Ohio State's Carlos Hyde earlier this season.
Iowa struggled stopping Ohio State's Carlos Hyde earlier this season.Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa boasts a stout run defense, ranking fourth in the Big Ten. But the Hawkeyes' defense struggled when it faced better competition.

Iowa lost to Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State in conference play. The Hawkeyes were outrushed by at least 100 yards in each of those games.

LSU can play smash-mouth style of football like the Big Ten elite. Hill is a physical back who can wear down a defense over the course of a game. The LSU offensive line has also shown the ability to maul tired defensive fronts

Hill is built similarly to Ohio State's Carlos Hyde. Hill and Hyde are bruisers over 230 pounds with the ability to break or shake tackles in the open field. Both can also catch the ball out of the backfield if called upon. 

Hyde rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa earlier this year. Hill should have at least over 100 yards rushing based on Hyde's success. 

The best defense for Iowa is a good offense. The Hawkeyes struggled staying on the field offensively in their losses this season. Both Ohio State and Michigan State outpossessed the black and gold by at least 10 minutes in each game. 

Iowa has won a fair share of games as underdogs during Kirk Ferentz's tenure. The Outback Bowl is winnable, but the Hawkeyes must stop the run to have a chance. 

Iowa must be ready for what Hill, Magee and the LSU offensive line has to offer. Freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings will be LSU's starter at quarterback, so the Tigers will look to pound the ball. 

Expect the Tigers to give Hill the heaviest dosage of carries he has ever received in what will probably be his LSU swan song.   

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