Jeremy Hill had a fine game against Alabama last year, but he hasn’t forgotten about the play he didn’t make — a play that could’ve helped LSU finish the job
If Jeremy Hill could take it back, he would.
On a second-down handoff late in Alabama’s comeback win over LSU last season, Hill bounced an off-tackle play outside instead of hitting a rapidly closing hole.
He was dropped for a 3-yard loss. The Tigers failed to convert on third down the next play. Then kicker Drew Alleman missed a 45-yard field goal.
The Tide followed seconds later with a game-winning touchdown, clinching a 21-17 victory.
“When nothing is there, I was trying to bounce it to the outside and make a play happen when I should have just stuck it in there and got those 2 or 3 yards,” Hill said.
Hill’s run didn’t lose LSU the game.
It was a glitch in an otherwise impressive outing from the then-freshman. LSU rode him to 107 yards on 29 carries.
Entering Saturday’s game at No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0), Hill expects to carry the load again — and, this time, to avoid those last-minute outside cuts.
“Their defensive tackles do a great job of staying in their gaps and not leaving their gaps or leaving their holes,” Hill said of the Tide’s front. “I’ve just got to take those 3 (yards) if they give me those 3. I’ll take them every time.”
Three would have been nice in that play in last year’s game.
With 2 minutes, 30 seconds left and LSU up 17-14, quarterback Zach Mettenberger handed off to Hill on second-and-7 from the LSU 29-yard line.
A run to the designed hole would have netted Hill a short gain, and LSU would have had third-and-reasonable. Convert there and the Tigers might have run out the clock, won the game and played for the SEC Championship.
Instead, Hill carried for 4-yard gain on third-and-10 and Alleman missed his field goal.
Hill watched that game “probably” 10 times over the offseason, he said.
What he’d see?
“I just see a young running back that really … I understood the moment, but I was just trying to do too much in the moment,” he said.
O-line, kicker healthy
Left tackle La’el Collins and center Elliott Porter, who both missed the Furman game, practiced Tuesday and Wednesday, coach Les Miles said Wednesday evening.
They are expected to play Saturday at Alabama.
Kicker Colby Delahoussaye is also expected to play.
“Since the time off, he’s healed,” Miles said of Delahoussaye, who’s 9 of 10 on field goal tries this season. “He ran today and he’s kicked extremely well today. We feel like we can use him.”
Oklahoma-LSU series pushed back
The home-and-home series between LSU and Oklahoma set for 2018 and 2019 will be rescheduled, LSU announced Wednesday.
It’s unclear when the games will be played.
Oklahoma announced a home-and-home football series against UCLA for 2018-19 Wednesday shortly after LSU’s announcement.
The teams were scheduled to play at Oklahoma in 2018 and in Tiger Stadium in 2019.
LSU is now looking to schedule other opponents to replace Oklahoma.
The Tigers and Sooners have never met in the regular season. Their only games were in the 1950 Sugar Bowl (Oklahoma won 35-0) and the 2004 Sugar Bowl, which LSU won 21-14 to capture the 2003 BCS national championship.
Miles’ salary is the seventh-highest among college football coaches, according to data released Wednesday by USA Today.
Miles makes $4.45 million a year, ranking him fourth in the SEC behind Alabama coach Nick Saban (first at $5.54 million), Arkansas coach Bret Bielema (third) and Tennessee coach Butch Jones (fourth).
After last season, Miles was given a $600,000 raise and two-year extension through 2019.
Miles has incentive bonuses that max at $700,000. He’s alread met one of them. With a sixth, bowl-eligible win, the coach will be paid an extra $100,000.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva’s $725,000 salary ranks 16th nationally and sixth in the SEC.
Advocate on the road
The Advocate is hitting the road with LSU. Complimentary copies of Saturday’s edition of the paper will be distributed at the following locations:
Marriott, 3950 Grandview Pkwy., Birmingham, Ala.
Hyatt Place, 4686 Hwy. 280 East, Birmingham
Hilton Perimeter Park, 8 Perimeter Park South, Birmingham
Embassy Suites, 2960 John Hawkins Pkwy., Birmingham
The Town Plaza Suites, 500 Wildwood North Circle, Birmingham