LSU running back Kenny Hilliard will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury that took him out of the game against Alabama.
The senior tailback and Patterson, Louisiana native has been a major part of the Tiger’s rushing attack for the past four years. This season, Hilliard has 87 carries for 431 yards and six touchdowns. His contributions have helped LSU amass over 2200 yards rushing, ranking 5th in the SEC.
Hilliard has helped lead the charge in two LSU comebacks against top 25 opponents. His best performance of the season came in the LSU season opener against Wisconsin. His 110 yards and touchdown helped the Tigers come back from a 24-7 deficit and win 28-24. Hilliard also came up big in the Tigers’ upset of undefeated Ole Miss. On LSU’s 95 yard go-ahead scoring drive, Hilliard ran the ball six times for 47 yards.
Moving forward, LSU will try to replace Hilliard with freshman running back Darrel Williams. Williams matches Hilliard in height and weight and runs with the same kind of power that Hilliard does. The Tigers have packages where Hilliard lines up at fullback and have done the same with Williams.
LSU has talent to replace Hilliard, but what LSU will miss the most is Hilliard’s veteran leadership on the field. In high-pressure situations, Hilliard seems to be Les Miles’ go-to running back. Senior running back Terrance Magee will need to step up his leadership and keep erratic quarterback Anthony Jennings calm for LSU to win their remaining games against Arkansas and Texas A&M, both on the road.
The Tigers have won seven games so far, which means they are definitely bowl bound. Hilliard will definitely sit the rest of the regular season but his postseason future is undetermined.
*Section Photo credit to The Times-Picayune; Featured Photo (above) credit to Derick E. Hingle, USA Today Sports