The Florida Gators have an incredible defense. They are one of the best in the country, and no team has been able to find much success against them this season. Jeremy Hill was not intimidated. He stepped up in a big way and made the Florida rush defense look merely average.
Grade for LSU Running Backs: B+
LSU came into the game expecting a physical battle. They responded by returning to an offense that looked extremely similar to the pre Cameron offense. LSU ran the ball on 70% of their snaps. They pounded the ball straight at the Gators, wearing down the Florida defense, and chewing up clock.
The Gators lead the nation in time of possession, so establishing the running game was absolutely vital. LSU constantly fed star sophomore running back Jeremy Hill, who continuously picked up quality yards on his carries.
By himself, Hill carried the ball more times than Mettenberger threw it. Hill had 19 carries for 121 yards, 6.4 yards a carry. He put his toughness and fight on display, powering his way for extra yardage. Hill was also third on the team in receiving yards for the game with 30. He caught a short Mettenberger pass and took it up the sideline and hurdled a defender before stepping out of bounds.
Hill’s performance against such a tough defense is commendable, but normally there are several LSU running backs assisting in the production. The three other backs that normally play well were non factors in the game. Blue, Magee, and Hilliard combined for nine carries for 34 yards.
The second best rushing performer was 275 pound fullback, J.C. Copeland. Copeland is used in short yardage situations. On the first play of the second quarter, he powered his way through a Florida defender for a one yard touchdown. Later in the game, Copeland received a handoff and the big man found a hole picking up ten yards before being dragged down on the Florida 1. LSU would score the next play.
Considering that LSU was playing Florida the performance earns the LSU running backs a B+. Hill’s play was incredible and Copeland exceeded his job description, but the lack of production from the other LSU running backs keeps them from earning an A. This is a talented group of athletes that proved they can run the ball effectively regardless of their opponent.