The No. 16 LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 21 – 14 in the Outback Bowl, despite the absence of starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Iowa just couldn’t break past the Tigers’ stout defense, which, like it tends to do every season, dominated LSU’s opponents.
Despite winning the game, LSU didn’t do very well in the passing game; Anthony Jennings was just 7 – 19 for 82 total yards. However, the Tigers had great success on the ground. Running back Jeremy Hill ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns and looked unstoppable for the entire game.
Unfortunately for LSU, Hill is eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. There aren’t a lot of highly touted running backs in the 2014 NFL draft class, so it would benefit Hill in terms of monetary gain to leave school early because he doesn’t have any major competition at the position and many teams need a solid running back.
However, if Hill returns next season, expect the Tigers to revert back to their old ways of tough defense and ground and pound offense with Mettenberger leaving. Hill will have an opportunity to be the go-to guy for the LSU offense and, not only impress NFL scouts, but possibly get into the discussion for the Heisman.
If Hill leaves, it will be a huge blow for LSU, but they will recover. Expect next season to be a bit of a rebuilding one for the Tigers, but rebuilding for Les Miles and LSU just means that they might have a nine-win season instead of a ten-win season.