12 carries for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns
Just keep that stat line in mind as you read this...
I know I keep coming back to it, but I really hope Richt's staff watched the Chick-Fil-A Bowl with fidelity to prep for Clemson. Because only Les could manage to out Clemson Dabo.
Before he ran for re-election into the LSU backfield, Jeremy Hill was trampling through the Clemson defense in Atlanta like lil' Billy Tecumseh Sherman. He averaged over 10 yards per carry. The Clemsoning had commenced because they had no answer for the freshman tailback the entire game. Well, most of it.
Because there was one defender Hill could not elude - Leslie Edwin Miles. After a modest first half (5 carries 37 yards), Hill broke loose in the third quarter for 87 yards on just 7 carries. That helped LSU build a 24-13 lead going into the fourth quarter. It seemed insurmountable and many viewers turned the tv to get ready for the ball drop at midnight.
Instead, Hill played decoy the rest of the game and touched the ball exactly zero times in the final stanza. The drive chart for LSU in the fourth includes one rush, five passes, two three and outs.
Said Miles after the game:
"Tajh Boyd was phenomenal. I did not expect the heroic, if you will, efforts that he had."LSU fans had to be wondering why they had even given Boyd the chance. A quarterback can't be heroic from the sideline while watching his teammates play defense. Meanwhile Dabo was calling it a "landmark win".
Perhaps that's exactly what it was. Gift wrapped by the Mad Hatter himself. And perhaps too much of my confidence in Georgia with this opener stems from this one game. LSU's defense was pretty good last season and had a lot of experience going into the bowl game. Yet still they gave up a lot of yards to Clemson. But they made a couple plays (like the opening run by Watkins to force a fumble and get their offense great field position) and did a decent job of forcing the Tigers into long yardage (Clemson was 8-18 in third down conversions).
So again, if our coaches studied this game like I think they did, they have to see that you can't give Chad Morris and Tajh Boyd 100 plays Saturday night. And by God, YOU HAVE TO RUN THE DAMN BALL!!