Saturday, LSU travels to Athens, Georgia for a battle between elite SEC teams, with SEC Title game dreams on the line. It will be a clash of two prolific offenses highlighted by two of the best running backs in all of college football. Todd Gurley and Jeremy Hill are two of the best players for their squads, leading each team in rushing and making huge impacts on ball games.
Jeremy Hill was forced to sit out the season opener versus TCU, received limited touches against UAB, and has been completely unstoppable ever since. Hill has rushed for 350 yards and six touchdowns on only 42 carries, 8.3 yards a carry. He had 117 yards on only 11 carries against Kent State in week 3, but his best performance of his career came against Auburn in week 4.
Hill was named the SEC player of the week for his game-changing performance against Auburn. The weather conditions were awful in Death Valley making throwing the ball more difficult. LSU turned to the running game and Hill did not disappoint. He rushed for 151 first half yards and ended the game with 183 yards and three touchdowns. Hill was the difference that LSU needed to knock of the pesky Auburn Tigers, 35 to 21.
Todd Gurley has been the key component in an outstanding Georgia offense. Through just three games Gurley has picked up 377 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Also a threat as a receiver, he pulled down a touchdown catch against South Carolina. Gurley came into the season as one of the favorites to win the Heisman and he has not disappointed. He rushed for 132 yards against a South Carolina team known for their defense. However, his best game came in the Georgia loss to Clemson.
Gurley was the SEC player of the week in week one despite his team losing 38 to 35. He finished the day with 154 yards and two touchdowns on only twelve carries, 12.8 yards a carry. The outcome may have been different if Georgia would have given him the ball more. Coach Richt said he was slowed by a quad injury early. Gurley’s big highlight of night came early in the game when he busted out a 75 yard touchdown run to even the score at seven.
Saturday night both coaches will be trying to establish the running game. They have great passing attacks but Miles and Richt know the importance of a solid rushing attack in big SEC games. Both teams have elite running backs and the top performer could be the difference in the game.