Hill’s numbers climbing in a hurry

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU running back Jeremy Hill scores one of his two touchdowns Saturday, giving him 12 for the season and 24 for his career. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU running back Jeremy Hill scores one of his two touchdowns Saturday, giving him 12 for the season and 24 for his career.

LSU running back Jeremy Hill has come a long way in a short period of time.

The sophomore from Redemptorist High School continues to climb the career charts faster than is reasonable to expect in the amount of time he has played.

Of the 22 games the Tigers have played in Hill’s two seasons, Hill has not played in three and had a total of just nine carries in four others.

In the 15 games in which he has had significant playing time, Hill has had 261 carries for 1,617 yards. That’s averages of 17.4 carries, 107.8 yards and 6.2 yards per carry.

His nine 100-yard games are the fourth most in LSU history.

He has 12 touchdowns this season, tying his total from last season and tying Billy Cannon for 10th place in career rushing touchdowns.

As productive as Hill has been, the Tigers are still sharing the workload in the backfield.

Terrence Magee didn’t touch the ball against Furman in the first half Saturday and still joined Hill as a 100-yard rusher by gaining 108 yards and scoring two touchdowns on seven second-half carries.

Hill finished with 143 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries as the pair matched the dual 100-yard-games feat they accomplished against Kent State in the third game of the season.

“I think we’re handling our running backs just the right way,” coach Les Miles said.

Kenny Hilliard ran eight times for 48 yards, and Alfred Blue rushed four times for 24 yards as LSU finished with 332 rushing yards on 36 attempts, a 9.2 average per carry.

Alexander top tackler

Sophomore Kwon Alexander is becoming a fixture at linebacker.

He has started the past five games while Tahj Jones has been sidelined by a hamstring injury. Alexander made a game-high and career-high 14 tackles against Furman, surpassing the previous career-best 10 he had against Auburn in the last game Jones played.

DB Thomas provides boost

LSU has had an inconsistent pass rush this season, but it got a boost from an unlikely source Saturday: defensive back Dwayne Thomas.

The Tigers blitzed Thomas on several occasions, and he disrupted the Paladins backfield.

He made the first two sacks of his career, forced a fumble and broke up another pass at the line of scrimmage.

Defense reaches backfield

LSU matched its season-high in tackles for loss, getting eight to equal the total against Florida two weeks earlier. The total included three sacks, one fewer than the season-high set against the Gators.

In addition to Thomas’ two sacks, Anthony Johnson had one. Alexander and Thomas had two tackles for loss; Johnson and Danielle Hunter each had one; and D.J. Welter, Rashard Robinson, Quentin Thomas and Rickey Jefferson each had a half.

Mettenberger passes 5,000

Zach Mettenberger’s 328 passing yards made him the fifth quarterback in Tigers history to throw for 5,000 yards in a career.

He increased his season total to 2,492 yards, seventh most in school history. He passed four players during Saturday’s game: Jordan Jefferson (2,166 in 2009), Tommy Hodson (2,261 in 1986), Matt Flynn (2,407 in 2007) and JaMarcus Russell (2,443 in 2005).