This was the week that wasn’t for Jeremy Hill.
This was the weekend that saw Tim Tebow, Vince Young and Matt Leinhart cut from their respective NFL teams.
This was a Saturday night when Georgia, the team that got exactly one first-place poll vote from Baton Rouge voter Glenn Guilbeau of the Gannett News Service, lost to Clemson, which ended last season by beating LSU.
And it was a Saturday night on which LSU opened its season with a 37-27 victory over TCU that saw quarterback Zach Mettenberger complete half his passes. I only throw that out there for perspective, because, while Mettenberger showed tremendous improvement in a few areas, it’s a tough world out there for QBs.
In Mett’s case, he did three things extremely well. First, he obviously had more poise and composure than last year when he was making a tough switch from junior college to the big time. Second, when he had time, he hit the open man. Right on the money. The kid can fire away with accuracy. And when he had nothing, he was not afraid to throw the ball away, either far out of bounds or into the turf by an intended’s feet.
What’s more, his 16-of-32 stat line for 251 yards doesn’t show the drops. Damn, LSU has dropped a lot of passes in this decade. So factor in a handful of throwaways, a few drops, and that line looks even better.
The boxscore also shows that Terrence Magee ran for two touchdowns and 95 yards and Alfred Blue for 89 yards, more than LSU needed in a game it more or less controlled throughout, despite a TCU return for a TD and another off an LSU turnover.
This from Steve Schneider of WAFB on his Facebook page late Saturday night:
“Franklinton’s Terrence Magee comes off the bench to spark LSU’s 37-27 victory over TCU, with 13 carries 95 yards and 2 TDs including a 52 yarder, while last year’s starter Jeremy Hill was relegated to the sideline as part of his discipline. Can’t show video of that game here because of SEC rules, but thought it might be interesting to look back on a hard-working quiet and patient guy, who has grown into a star again, after winning our 2010 Warrick Dunn Award as the Sportsline Player of the Year when he was a quarterback for the 4A Champion Demons.”
A good story, indeed, and maybe Magee is the real deal. But to suggest that either he or Blue is Jeremy Hill is a stretch. It took LSU’s running game a long time to get going Saturday night and part of that was because Kenny Hilliard, once so dominant, has evaporated before our eyes. Four carries for 8 yards won’t keep him in the lineup.
Last Monday, by the way, you may have heard about the exchange between LSU coach Les Miles and me at his Monday news luncheon. Miles, who has his own way of dealing with these off-the-field criminal activities by his players, simply didn’t want to talk about Hill, who was obviously going to be suspended. But the fact that he would “sustain discipline,” never answered the question if Hill was going to play. We all knew he wasn’t.
Will he play this week against UAB when LSU certainly won’t need him?
Will he play against Kent State a week later when LSU certainly won’t need him?
Will he play against Auburn in Tiger Stadium on September 21? Like, duh.
By the way, I’m in a minority on this, but I think Hill should have played. Either he’s on the team or he’s not and he’s on the team, traveled with the team, warmed up with the team and stood on the sidelines with the team. If the legal system says it’s OK to cold-cock a guy from behind when you’re already on probation, well, why should that keep him from playing football? Have it noted that I think the legal system failed and that Hill should have paid a serious penalty for what he did. But I’m not a judge, lucky for us all.
Anyway, back to LSU and Auburn three weeks hence.
It will take until that game to really have any answers to anything about LSU. TCU was a respectable first-game opponent with a nice defense and a lot of athletic skill players. But it would likely finish in the bottom half of the SEC.
A couple of other things worth noting:
— The aforementioned Georgia, which was so close to beating Alabama in last year’s SEC Championship Game and winning the national title that comes with it, now has no margin for error. Such is the price for playing against and losing a tough first-game opponent.
— A diminutive kid from New Iberia, 5-10 freshman Colby Delahoussaye, was good on all three of his LSU field-goal attempts and all four extra-point tries. That’s 13 points.
— The other Australian, Jamie Keehn, punted three times time for a 39.7-yard average. His predecessor, Brad Wing, was cut last week by the Philadelphia Eagles, unable to beat out another former LSU punter, Donnie Jones.
— So, too, was wide receiver Russell Shepard, who caught three passes for 42 yards for the Eagles, which was half as many receptions as he had all of last year for LSU.
They and Tebow and Young and Leinhart are looking for jobs this week, a new week in a new month when closer to home, especially if you’re an LSU fan, we should appreciate the week that was.