Jeremy Hill shredded Iowa in the best performance by a LSU running back in the Les Miles era.
Hill rushed for a career high 216 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 Tigers victory in the 2014 Outback Bowl. No other LSU running back under Miles has rushed for more than 200 in a game.
Hill's final stats do not do his performance justice. LSU was without starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger. True freshman Anthony Jennings made the start, which allowed Iowa to load the box to stop the run.
Iowa's efforts were ineffective.
Hill broke a 42-yard run on LSU's opening drive, which would eventually end with a Jennings touchdown run. Hill has had at least one rush of 40 yards or more in six of the 12 games he played this season. For perspective, Iowa only had one rush of 40 yards or more all season.
Hill would score his first touchdown when he carried multiple Iowa defenders into the end zone on a 14-yard scamper to extend LSU's lead to 14-0.
As the game wore on, Jennings began to struggle mightily. He threw an interception that gave Iowa life in the second half. But Hill still dominated in spite of poor quarterback play.
Great running backs get stronger as the game goes along. Hill proved that to be the case against Iowa, saving his best for last in his masterful performance.
LSU was only up 14-7 late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers regained possession at their own 8-yard line after a Craig Loston interception. The Tigers had yet to score in the second half.
Hill would then take over the game.
Hill lead the LSU charge 92 yards down the field that ended with a 37-yard touchdown that put Iowa safety Tanner Miller on skates. Three of his four rushes on the drive went for 20 yards or more as he glided past tacklers with ease.
What won't show up on the box score or highlight reels were Hill's runs for short yardage. On nearly every run, he would break numerous tackles and fall forward for extra yardage. This wore down an Iowa defense normally known for wearing its opponents down the same way.
LSU fans should savor this performance from Hill, as it was likely his last in a LSU uniform. He is eligible for the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore. He would be continuing a recent trend of Tigers running backs leaving with eligibility remaining.
LSU head coach Les Miles put his reputation on the line by keeping Hill on the roster after his poor off-the-field behavior and legal issues. With performances like this one, it is easy to see why Miles kept his prized thoroughbred. The All-SEC running back wins football games.
Hill's LSU career will never be forgotten. He burst on to the scene last season as a freshman against South Carolina and never looked back. He was the difference in the Tigers' victory over National Championship finalist Auburn earlier this season.
But for now, college football fans should savor one of the most magnificent performances from an LSU Tiger ever witnessed. Hill eviscerated the Hawkeyes in his swan song, and it was a thing of beauty.
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