After the Auburn game, no one in Baton Rouge is losing any sleep over Les Miles’ decision to reinstate running back Jeremy Hill. Considering his offseason arrests, whether Hill deserves a prominent role in the LSU Tigers‘ (4-0, 1-0) offense is a matter for debate. After witnessing Hill carry the ball 25 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns, what this 6-foot-2, 235-pound beast gives the sixth-ranked Tigers is not debatable.
Most of the attention so far has been given to LSU QB Zach Mettenberger and his talented duo of receivers – Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. And rightfully so, as Mettenberger has already eclipsed 1,000 passing yards and 10 touchdowns through four games, while Beckham and Landry have combined for 44 receptions, 753 yards and all of Mettenberger’s scores.
But in those tough mid-season SEC slugfests, like the one coming up this week at No. 9 Georgia, the advantage of having a big back like Hill anchoring a bruising ground game cannot be overestimated. More than anything, it’s LSU’s ability to line up in power sets and move the chains – even though the other team knows what’s coming – that makes the Tigers perhaps the favorite to win the SEC West at this point. A team this tough is never easy to beat.
The biggest revelation from Week 4, perhaps, is that apparently it never rains in Death Valley. Following the downpour during the Auburn game, Miles, in classic form, characterized the weather conditions as “stiff dew.”
What to look for in Week 5: First, can the Tigers take the Sanford Stadium crowd out of the game by lining up and punishing a Georgia defense that has been suspect against the run? Second, will the return to Athens affect the play of Mettenberger, who began his college career at Georgia? More than likely it will be his and LSU’s day, as the Tigers’ power rushing attack should open things up for coordinator Cam Cameron to dial up the play-action passing game.